Cambridge University Library

Search the Collections

Detail from CUL MS Ff.1.27 p254

Many of our collections can be found on our online catalogue on the Janus website. Janus holds our main catalogue and also has a separate catalogue for University Archives and the Royal Greenwich Observatory Archives. 

Janus is not searchable through other University Library catalogues, and thus materials on Janus will not appear on LibrarySearch.

Cambridge University theses can be searched for on Newton. This catalogue includes post 1970 theses. Information on previous ones is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room (visit our Doctoral dissertations page for further information).

Not all Manuscripts holdings can be located on Janus. The majority of our medieval manuscripts, for example, are catalogued in the five volumes of the Catalogue of the Manuscripts preserved in the Library of the University of Cambridge. This can be found online as follows:  

Vol.1   Vol.2   Vol.3   Vol.4   Vol.5   Index

Other material is catalogued on external websites such as Access to Archives (A2A), ArchivesHub, and the National Register of Archives, while others are only available in paper catalogues and the card catalogue found in the Manuscripts Reading Room. If you’re searching for material you believe may be held in Manuscripts but can’t locate on Janus, please try these other resources – and when in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’re working as quickly as we can to catalogue all our post medieval material onto Janus.

The following information may help you in searching our collections:


The Western manuscripts can be broadly divided into four classes:

Two-letter class
The original holdings of the Library’s manuscript department. Mainly, but not wholly, made up of medieval and early modern manuscripts. 
Additional class
Items deposited from the mid nineteenth century onwards and mostly containing material dating from then until the modern day, though also containing items dating from medieval times onwards. 
Named collections
Larger collections mostly dating from the Victorian period and later.
Doc class
Originally items such as title deeds, manorial court records, and accounting papers, but now includes a much wider range of material.

Information on the Library’s Asian & Near and Middle and Eastern collections can be found here.

Subject Guides

Our subject guides can be accessed here.

Alphabetical Listing

An alphabetical list of some of our important collections with links to further information can be found here.