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Cambridge University Library is now open for limited services from Monday-Friday. Book a visit to view non-borrowable material in the Main reading room or a Special Collections reading room. Please read more about our phased reopening of the UL and Faculty and Departmental Libraries.

Cambridge University Library


***UPDATE 19 March 2020: Cambridge University Library is now closed until further notice. You can find more information on CUL's dedicated webpage (, library websites, and social media accounts.

While the library building is closed, staff still have access to the library's electronic archive and will do our best to try to help you.​

If you would like to request a copy of an item from the collection of Cambridge University Library and/or permission to use it in your project, please email***

The Digital Content Unit is a key part of the Library's Research Collections Directorate. Over many years, we have built up considerable expertise in providing imaging and licensing services around the Library’s collections and other photographic needs. We have completed many major, and smaller, digitisation projects. The DCU consists of two teams. The Picture Library supports research, teaching, and publication of Library content. The Photography team provides a range of high quality imaging services. We work closely with the Digital Library Unit and the Special Collections Department to provide bespoke and comprehensive digitisation services.

On this website, you will find more information on:

  • How to order images of Library Content
  • How to license the use of those images
  • How to order specialist imaging and audio-video services
  • To learn more or discuss any aspect of a digitisation project please contact us directly

Request and license images from Library collections

We provide and license high-quality digital images of the Library's collections. This website contains information about ordering pictures and licensing their use. Please contact us before you reproduce Library materials in publications, websites or broadcasts. You might need to order the images and then (when you are ready to publish) complete the licensing process.

Specialist photography and other audio-video services

Our Photography Team are experts in the digitisation of the most delicate material. They use a range of innovative methods to make content more accessible, legible or visible. This includes: multispectral imaging, high-resolution large-format photography (for oversized items) and various methods for shooting fragile items, watermarks, 3D objects (3D photogrammetry) and raking-light imaging. In addition, we provide standard studio and events photography as well as film-making services.

Contact us

Digital Content Unit
Cambridge University Library
West Road

Phone: +44 (0) 1223 765741
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 339684



Request copies or images



Audio-visual Services:


  • Imaging of library materials (including theses)
  • Licensing of Library materials
  • Product photography for catalogues, exhibitions etc.
  • Event and conference photography
  • Video making – events, interviews, conferences, short films
  • Multispectral photography
  • 3D photogrammetry


Digitisation Services:

  • Support to researchers in planning digitisation projects
  • Support for large-scale imaging projects, including off-site imaging
  • Help and advice on technical issues such as metadata and imaging standards
  • Hosting of digitised collections from other institutions