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Cambridge University Library


Please note that the Library will be unable to provide a Special Collections fetching service on Saturday 1 and 8 June. The Manuscripts Reading Room will be open as usual from 9.30am to 4:30pm for readers to consult pre-ordered material.  Requests for items to be consulted on Saturday should be made by 1pm on Friday in order to be ready for Saturday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Department of Manuscripts and University Archives is home to a wide range of material, from important medieval manuscripts to collections of personal papers dating from the twentieth century. It includes scientific collections, business archives, the records of the University and political papers. Cambridge University PhD theses are also held by the department.

Consulting our Collections

All archives, modern and Medieval manuscripts and University Archives are consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Bible Society manuscripts and archives, manuscript items and photographs from the Royal Commonwealth Society collections and Near and Middle Eastern and South Asian manuscripts are also consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room Room, though these collections have their own specialist departments. 

Searching our Collections

You can find online catalogues to many of our collections on our ArchiveSearch database, whilst details of how our holdings are arranged and how to search our collections are available on our Search the Collections page. We also have a set of subject guides offering overviews of our material and a listing of some of our most significant archival collections with links to more detailed information.

Copying Services

It is possible for our Digital Content Unit to make copies of manuscripts and archives, depending on the physical nature of the material. Details for their services are available on their web pages.  There also is an online order form.  

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Contact us

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Department
Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR


Phone: 01223 333143


Opening hours

Monday - Friday: 9:30am to 6.50pm (operating in the Manuscripts Room from 5.00pm)

Saturday: 9:30am to 4.30pm, operating in the Manuscripts Reading Room

Sunday: closed