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Cambridge University Library is now open for ‘zero contact’ services from Monday-Friday. Please read more about our phased reopening of the UL and Faculty and Departmental Libraries.

Cambridge University Library


Until further notice, the University Library and all Faculty and Departmental Libraries are closed to readers. Please check the FAQs on our website for information on how to access Library services during this time (

For all other enquiries concerning our archival and manuscript collections please send a message to our departmental email ( and we will do our best to help you. Please be patient as we are dealing with a higher than usual level of remote enquiries

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 material from the Manuscripts and University Archives collections is consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room. The Reading Room is also the place to consult Bible Society manuscripts and archives, manuscript items and photographs from the Royal Commonwealth Society collections and Near and Middle Eastern and South Asian manuscripts, though these collections have their own specialist departments.

If you are interested in visiting the Reading Room please go to our Using the Manuscripts Reading Room page.

Searching our Collections

You can find online catalogues to many of our collections on the Janus website 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

Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
Cambridge University Library
West Road 


Telephone: +44 (0)1223 333143

Opening hours

  • Monday-Friday


    No fetching between 12:30 and 14:00

  • Saturday