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From the middle of the nineteenth century, the majority of the Library's new manuscript acquisitions have been allocated a number or numbers in the sequential Additional Manuscripts series. The principal exceptions are those items placed in Class Doc, and numerous large collections, which are known by their names alone. Until about 1900, Oriental manuscripts and Adversaria (printed books with manuscript additions) were included in the Additional series, but these are now numbered in other sequences. Additional manuscript number 10000 was added in January 2013.

Inclusion in the Additional series gives no real idea of quantity, for one entry may represent a single volume, a collection of several hundred letters, or perhaps many boxes of miscellaneous papers.

Finding aids and catalogues of many western post-medieval Additional manuscripts collections can be found on the ArchiveSearch database, with entries continually being added. Add. 1-337 are described in volume 5 of the Catalogue of Manuscripts in the University Library, Cambridge whilst external websites such as the National Archives Discovery catalogue and ArchivesHub also hold Additional manuscripts catalogues. Some catalogues are only available in hard copy in the Manuscripts Reading Room where there is also a detailed card catalogue.

There are also a number of printed catalogues available for the Additional class.

Information on catalogues for the Asian & Near and Middle Eastern (formerly Oriental) manuscript collections can be found on the websites of the Near and Middle Eastern Department and the South Asian, Tibetan and Southeast Asian Department.

Most Additional manuscripts can be produced for holders of full Library Reader's Tickets. However, some contain material of a confidential nature, and in such cases, various restrictions on access apply. Furthermore, the Library's programme of conservation work may oblige us to make certain items unavailable for limited periods. It is always best to check the availability of any manuscript before visiting the Library.


Advance orders, and general enquiries should be directed to the Manuscripts Reading Room (01223 333143;

For more detailed information, contact the relevant curators:

Further information is available on:

Medieval manuscripts
Papers of Lord Acton (Add. 4757-5021, 5381-5710, 6443, 8119-23)
Papers of Lord Randolph Churchill (Add. 9248)
World War I correspondence of Edward Joseph Dent (Add. 7973)
Correspondence and Papers of the Eyre Family, 1782-1916 (Add. 7961)
Political papers of the 7th Duke of Marlborough (Add. 9271)
Papers of Lord Mayo (Add. 7490)
Papers of G. E. Moore (Add. 8330, 8875)
Papers of Sir Isaac Newton (Add. 3958-4007 and 9597)
Papers of Spencer Perceval (Add. 8713)
Printers’ Papers (Add. 9812-32, 9853, 9861 and others)
Papers of Lord Rutherford (Add. 7653)
Papers of Siegfried Sassoon (MSS Add. 7935, 8483–94, 9852 and others)
Papers of William Smith MP (1756-1835) (Add. 7621)
Papers of Sir George Gabriel Stokes (Add. 7656)

Useful Catalogues

Medieval manuscripts: Jayne Ringrose, Summary Catalogue of the Additional Medieval Manuscripts in Cambridge University Library acquired before 1940 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2009).

Plus several brief entries in P. R. Robinson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 737-1600 in Cambridge Libraries (Cambridge: Brewer, 1988).

Illuminated and decorated manuscripts: Paul Binski and Patrick Zutshi, with the collaboration of Stella Panayotova, Western Illuminated Manuscripts: a catalogue of the collection in Cambridge University Library (Cambridge: CUP, 2011).

Manuscripts in Greek: P. Easterling, 'Handlist of the Additional Greek Manuscripts in the University Library, Cambridge', Scriptorium, 16 (1962).

Manuscripts in Irish: Padraig de Brun and Maire Herbert, Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in Cambridge Libraries, (Cambridge: CUP, 1986).

Legal manuscripts: J. H. Baker and J. S. Ringrose, A Catalogue of English Legal Manuscripts in Cambridge University Library (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1996).

Post-medieval accessions to 1966 (c. Add. MS 7700): Arthur Owen, Summary Guide to Accessions of Western Manuscripts since 1867 (Cambridge: CUP, 1966).