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Tall Tales: Secrets of The Tower

Monday-Friday 09.00-18.00, Saturday 09.00-16.30
2 May-28 October 2018
Milstein Exhibition Centre, Cambridge University Library

Throughout its history the Tower of Cambridge University Library has generated awe, rumour, myth and fascination. The Tower was an afterthought, built to house copyright collections deemed of ‘secondary’ importance. Now the Tower and its collections inform contemporary research, inspire writers, and represent over a century of British literary, domestic and popular history. You are invited to uncover the secret history of this remarkable structure. Free exhibition – all welcome.

Exhibition Tours

11.00-11.30 every Friday (4 May-26 October)

These free drop-in Exhibition Tours led by a member of University Library staff will provide an introduction to our exhibition, Tall Tales: Secrets of the Tower. Please note that these tours do not include a visit up the tower. No need to book. Please arrive in the Milstein Exhibition Centre 5 minutes before tour is due to start.

Tower Tours

11.00-11.45 every Wednesday (6 June – 12 September)

These guided tours offer an introduction to the exhibition before taking you on a special behind-the-scenes visit up the Library tower. Limited spaces available - booking is essential. These tours are now fully booked. Please keep an eye out on our website for details of other exhibition tours and events.


Black Cantabs: History Makers

This exhibition tells the stories of black students in Cambridge, from the forgotten pioneers to the celebrated successes of today. On display until 22 December.

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Explore the world of the Victorian poet, mesmerist and self-confessed hypochondriac Chauncy Hare Townshend. On display 15-31 October.

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EVENT | 20 Oct 10.30-11.30, 12.30-13.30 and 14.30-15.30 | ALL WELCOME

Cluescape: Escape the Tower [FULLY BOOKED]

Our interactive Escape Game is back!

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Festival of Ideas | 23 Oct 18.00-19.30 | ALL WELCOME

Learned Societies in the Open era: finding a way forward

A panel discussion asking ‘what is a learned society in the 21st century?' How can the societies sustain their place in the academic landscape and answer the challenges created by open access requirements?

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Festival of Ideas | 25 Oct 18.00-19.30 | ALL WELCOME

Is Open Research really changing the world?

Much research claims to benefit communities globally but are research outputs really available to everyone, even if they are made open access?

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EVENT | 26 Oct 12.00-14.00 | ALL WELCOME

Paywall the Movie: a lunchtime screening for Open Access Week 2018

Jason Schmitt's documentary, Paywall: the Business of Scholarship, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, and focuses on the need for open access to research and science.

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Festival of Ideas | 27 Oct 10.00-12.30 | ALL WELCOME

Polar Opposites: Mapping and Recording the Polar Regions

A chance to see various items from our collections related to the polar regions.

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Festival of Ideas | 28 Oct 13.00-15.00 | ALL WELCOME

Tall Tales Staff Picks

Come and see the Library's favourite picks from the Tower Collection.

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TALK | 30 Oct 17.00-18.00 | ALL WELCOME

Collecting Photo Books

Join us for an introduction to the publication and collecting of photo books, accompanied by a display.

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TOUR | 1 Nov 14.00-15.00 | ALL WELCOME

Genizah Show & Tell

An opportunity to visit the Genizah Research Unit on this one-hour show and tell.

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TALK | 1 Nov 18.00-19.30 | ALL WELCOME

Parisian Women and the Nazi Occupation: Uncovering their lives and their relationships

Award-winning writer, presenter and lecturer, Anne Sebba, delivers this year's Liberation Literature lecture.

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TALK | 13 Nov 18.30-20.00 | ALL WELCOME

Revolutionary Typefaces Then and Now

Bloomsbury Publishing and Cambridge University Libraries collaborate for an evening on the revolutionary impact of typefaces on design, art, life and politics.

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TOUR | 3 Dec 14.00-15.00 | ALL WELCOME

Genizah Show & Tell

An opportunity to visit the Genizah Research Unit on this one-hour show and tell.

Full details

Our exciting new app allows you to turn the pages and interact with six of the greatest written works in human history.

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