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Cambridge University Library


Please use the links at the left to navigate these web pages, which contain full details about the Chinese collections of Cambridge University Library, their catalogues and how to use them, as well as general Chinese bibliographical information and links to other relevant sites.

The oldest items in the Library are Chinese inscribed oracle bones dating from the 13th century BC (right), and the oldest printed book is a Chinese Buddhist sutra dated 1107.

The Chinese collections comprise about half a million titles (including bound serials) which contain over 150,000 monograph titles and over 250,000 individual titles of other (reprinted) materials such as manuscripts from Dunhuang, Huizhou, etc., archival documents and epigraphical rubbings. Over 300,000 titles are included in some 2,000 cong shu.

About 3,000 Chinese printed serial titles are held in Cambridge libraries and the University Library subscribes to over 1,000 current Chinese printed serials.

In addition the Library has about 150,000 Chinese e-books, 5,000 Chinese e-serials and 3,500 Chinese microfilm reels.

A selection of noteworthy Chinese items may be viewed in extenso in the Cambridge Digital Library. Please read the article Oracle bones and unseen beauty: wonders of priceless Chinese collection now online for more details. 

Any questions about Chinese collections at Cambridge University Library, please feel free to contact, or visit Chinese Section's Office in the East Asian Reading Room (First Floor, Aoi Pavilion of the University Library). 

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday

9am to 6:50pm (staffed 9am to 5:10pm)


9am to 6:50pm (staffed 9am to 16:50pm)


9am to 4:30pm (not staffed)

No fetching or transfers 12.30pm to 2pm, after 4:45pm (4:30pm Friday), and all day Saturday. Readers wishing to consult non-borrowable items on Saturdays, please order by 3pm on Friday, for transfer to the Manuscripts Reading Room for consultation.

Contact US - Chinese Section

Dr Yan He
Head of Chinese Section

Ms. Elena Fulgheri 
Senior Library Assistant

Ms. Qingbai Wan
Library Assistant 

Chinese Section
Cambridge University Library
West Road 

Tel: +44 (0)1223 333038