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  1. General University history: reference works, Historical Register, terminology 

  1. Governance: charters, statutes and ordinances, grace books, Reporter 

  1. Teaching, learning and research: faculties and departments, triposes, syllabus and curriculum, research students 

  1. Members and alumni, including honorary degrees 

This guide is intended to provide a basic starting point for researching aspects of the history of the University of Cambridge, particularly for those unable to access physical reference works or unable to consult material in the University Archives. The guide covers both general sources of information for University history as well as specific areas of the University’s operations and activities, arranged broadly by function from high-level governance to teaching and research, members and alumni, assets and buildings, and aspects of University ceremony. 

This is not a comprehensive guide to all available online resources. Emphasis has been placed on identifying resources which do not require a subscription or institutional affiliation to access, such as Cambridge University Digital Library (CUDL), the Internet Archive, the UK Web Archive and the University of Cambridge website. Many journal articles cited in the guide can be accessed via JSTOR. As well as providing institutional access, through a library or university account, JSTOR allows independent researchers to access six free articles per month (extended to 100 per month for the duration of 2020). Further information can be found at Getting access to JSTOR

The catalogue of the University Archives is available online via ArchiveSearch. For general background information, see the University Archives webpages.  

For general guidance on identifying online resources, see: 

  • Cambridge LibGuides: particularly for current staff and students of the University of Cambridge, with links to electronic databases. 

Please note that all links were correct at the time of compilation of this guide.  

Last updated: July 2020