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For the most part, the manuscripts of the various Colleges are kept in the Libraries of the Colleges which own them, and application should be made to the College Librarian in each case, as early as possible before the intended visit.

Queens' College

The University Library holds a significant proportion of the Queens’ College archives. These records, on deposit at the University Library since 1968, chiefly relate to the College’s foundation in 1447, its estates and household. The records include charters, statutes, deeds of title, estate papers, annual accounts, buttery books and court books from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. There are no student records. 

The Queens’ College archives held at the University Library are not catalogued. However, a listing of the full holdings at the University Library is available to researchers.

The records are available for consultation in the Manuscripts Reading Room on the third floor of Cambridge University Library. Access to some records is restricted for conservation reasons.

For enquiries relating to records at the University Library, please contact:

Queens’ College itself retains a quantity of relatively modern material including Conclusion Books (from 1734), College reports, governing body minutes, tutors’ books, records of College clubs and societies, and personal papers of former members. Dr David Butterfield is Fellow Archivist at Queens’:

For further background information, see John Twigg, A history of Queens’ College, Cambridge, 1448-1986 (The Boydell Press, 1987), W.G. Searle, The History of the Queens’ College of St Margaret and St Bernard in the University of Cambridge 1446-1662, 2 volumes (Cambridge Antiquarian Society Publications, Vols. IX, 1967, and XIII, 1981) and the Queens’ College webpages


Certain Colleges have deposited their medieval manuscripts in the Manuscripts Department of the University Library as follows.

Pembroke College

The medieval manuscripts of Pembroke College were described by M. R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Pembroke College, Cambridge, Cambridge, 1905. Pembroke MSS 1-316 are on deposit in the University Library, and are consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Many of these manuscripts have original medieval bindings and access to them may be restricted. For permission to consult the originals, please contact the Pembroke Librarian via email at or write to The Librarian, Pembroke College, Cambridge, CB2 1RF.

Please note that the post-medieval manuscripts of the College, described by James, op. cit. pp 277-80 and other post-medieval items, together with the early printed books, are still housed in the College Library. Application to consult them should be made to the Pembroke Librarian.


The medieval manuscripts of Peterhouse were described by M. R. James in A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Peterhouse (Cambridge, 1899). A new catalogue was recently published: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Peterhouse, Cambridge by Rod Thomson (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016). The manuscripts are on deposit in the University Library and may be consulted here in accordance with the usual procedures for the reading of manuscripts. Photography of any kind is restricted.

Corpus Christi College

For deposited Islamic and Sanskrit manuscripts, see the Asian & Near and Middle Eastern manuscripts page.

King's College

For the Pote collection, owned jointly by King's College and Eton College, see the Asian & Near and Middle Eastern manuscripts page.

Other Colleges

The medieval manuscripts of Selwyn and Girton Colleges have also been deposited in the Manuscripts Department, and may be consulted there similarly in accordance with the usual procedures.