Cambridge University Library

Quick guide to the Library

How do I get to the Library?
The University Library is on West Road. It can also be reached by foot or bicycle from Burrell's Walk [Map].

When is it open?
Monday to Friday 9.00-19.00 (22.00 in full Easter Term), and 9.00-17.00 on Saturdays. The Library is closed on Sundays and for Christmas and Easter (see opening hours page for details).

It is possible to access the book stacks until 30 minutes prior to closing (or until 19:00 in Easter Full Term). Please plan ahead to ensure a successfull visit.

Who can use the Library?
All members of the University of Cambridge are welcome to use the Library.
Academic staff and research students from other universities can apply to use the Library for reference.
Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students from other UK universities can apply to access the Library for reference during Cambridge vacations.
Private and business researchers may apply to use the Library for reference if their research requires access to materials held at the University Library. Please note that researchers wishing to access the University Library must be aged 18 years or over.
A £10 administration charge for 6 months (or £20 for 12 months) applies to applicants from non-UK universities and the public.
Please refer to our 'Admissions webpages' for full details.

What material does the Library have?
Cambridge University Library is a legal deposit library, meaning that it is entitled to claim a copy of every publication in printed form published in the UK and Ireland. Almost all of this material is claimed and can be consulted in the Library. It also holds extensive collections of books, journals, maps, microfilms, photographs and sound recordings published overseas and has extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and other materials.

How do I get in touch with the Library?
For general enquiries, telephone (01223) 333000 or e-mail For enquiries to specific departments, please consult the list of contacts. The postal address is Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. The fax number is 01223 333160.

The Library is a big place. How do I find my way around the building?
Introductory tours are available during term-time, explaining the catalogues, shelving arrangements, closed access collections and book-fetching. There is an online Library floorplan to help you find your way around. The Library staff will also be pleased to help you.

Where can I get a cup of tea?
The University Library has its own Tea Room, open 9.30-5 during the week and 10 until 1.45 on Saturdays. Hot and cold food is also available for most of the day.

What happens if I lose a book?

If you have lost books which you have borrowed from the Library’s collections the loss must be reported as soon as possible to the staff at the Reader Services Desk in the Entrance Hall (tel. 01223 333030) or by email to For further details of the replacement procedure, please see Lost books.

What happens if a book is stolen from me?

Stolen books should be reported to the Reader Services Desk in the Entrance Hall (tel. 01223 333030) or by email to If a police report or crime number is submitted to the Reader Services Desk, the Library will waive the administrative fee in replacing the book.  However the replacement cost of the book will still need to be paid. 

What should I do when the fire alarm sounds?

In the event of a fire, there will be a loud continuous alarm and you should leave the building immediately via the nearest fire exit.

A plan of the Ground Floor Fire Exits is given.

The assistance that staff will be able to give, depending on whether the alarm is during core hours or outside of them, is described in the Summary of fire Emergency Procedure.  Readers with disabilities are advised to look at the section on drafting a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).

Readers with mobility impairments are encouraged to look at the full description of the assistance available during an alarm depending on the time of day and the study area that is being used.