Different regulations apply to those wishing to obtain admission to the Library as visitors or readers.


The Exhibition Centre is open to visitors from 09:00-18:00 on Monday to Friday and 09:00-16:30 on Saturdays. In addition, visitors over the age of 16 not holding a Reader's Card may be admitted to the Library for the sole purpose of viewing the building provided that they are accompanied throughout the visit either by a member of the University or by a member of the Library staff. No member of the University may introduce more than two visitors at one time except by arrangement with the Librarian. Visitors admitted to the Library under this rule are not permitted to consult any books or other library materials.


All those wishing to gain admittance to the Library as readers must apply for a Reader's Card.

In addition to members of the University of Cambridge, all of whom may be granted a Reader's Card, the following persons may also be granted a Reader's Card and admitted to the Library, but may not borrow books:

(a) Any persons over 21 who are engaged in private study or research, if supported by appropriate evidence of academic standing and fitness for admission. For further information about the documentation required, see Eligibility for access to the University Library.

(b) Undergraduates of other universities in the British Isles normally resident in the Cambridge area, if supported by appropriate recommendations. Cards issued under this section shall be free of charge and shall normally be valid only during the vacations of this University.

Reader's Cards are normally issued for a period of six months with an administration charge of ten pounds, and may be renewed.

Temporary Reader's Cards valid for seven days are also available. They are issued free of charge, but may not be renewed until twelve months have elapsed.

No charge is made for the issue of a Card to a current member of the academic staff or a registered research student of any other university funded by one of the higher education funding councils in the United Kingdom, or to a member of the Friends of the University Library.

Those who are eligible to apply for a Card should contact the Admissions Office by telephone (01223 333084) or e-mail ( to make an appointment to have a Reader's Card issued. The Admissions Office is open Monday-Friday, 09:30-12:30, 14:00-16:15, and Saturday, 09:30-12:30. Persons who are not members of the University, visiting the Library for the first time in order to request admittance, must arrive during the above hours; cards can only be issued or requested at these times. During periods of heavy demand, applicants without appointments arriving after 11:30 and 15:30 may have to wait until the following session.


The University Library is located on West Road. See Map.

Opening Hours

The Library is open to readers from Monday to Friday 09:00-19:00 (09:00-22:00 in full Easter Term), and 09:00-17:00 on Saturdays. The Library is closed on Sundays and for Christmas and Easter. See Opening Hours for further details.

Photography and Photocopying

Photography and the use of photocopying devices in the Library by readers or visitors is forbidden. Enquiries about obtaining photocopies, microfilms or digital images of items from the Library's collections should be directed to the Imaging Services department (, giving full particulars of the item required, including the classmark. For pricing details see the Price Guide.