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Cambridge University Library


The diocese of Peterborough, previously part of Lincoln diocese, was founded in 1541, and Peterborough Abbey became the Cathedral.

Peterborough Cathedral manuscripts and archives, medieval and 16th to 18th century, were deposited in Cambridge University Library in 1980 and 1983. More recent archives are either still at the Cathedral or in Northamptonshire Record Office.  Peterborough Cathedral Library is also deposited here (Rare Books, class 'Peterborough').   The records include medieval cartularies of Peterborough Abbey and registers of some abbots.  The collection is especially strong for the period 1438-1471. There is a medieval catalogue of the Abbey library and several medieval literary manuscripts.

The archives of the Dean and Chapter include:-

  • act books 1585-1642
  • ledger books of appointments 1551-1691
  • receivers' and treasurers' accounts 1541-1680 and 1729-1805

Collections of administrative papers relate to the Cathedral's foundation, and the Dean and Chapter Liberty and the City of Peterborough. There is a Parliamentary survey of the Dean and Chapter estates, 1648. Dean Piers' notebooks, late 16th to early 17th century, and Dean Cosin's papers, 1635-1660, contain Cathedral memoranda and administrative papers.  A benefaction book records gifts, especially books for the library, in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Included amongst the manuscripts is Bishop White Kennett's annotated copy of Gunton's History of Peterborough.

A handlist is available.

Contact: Sian Collins (01223 333141;