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The Rare Books team welcomes enquiries in person, by phone, or by email. We are always interested to know more about the work being done on our collections so please let us know about your research and discoveries. 

Please note that during the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 staff are mainly working from home, and only in the building on a limited number of days each week. We recommend sending enquiries by email, as telephones are unlikely to be answered promptly. We apologise for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience. 


Please send all enquiries to the following email address:

Curatorial staff

The curatorial team of rare book specialists is based in the Rare Books office next to the Reading Room. We share responsibility for selecting, purchasing, cataloguing and promoting our collections to all Library users and the wider academic and public communities. Members of the team also run reader education sessions and would be happy to hear from academic staff within the University who are interested in creating teaching sessions using rare books. We host external visitors to the Library and welcome enquiries from school, community and educational groups who would like to visit the Department.  

Dr Suzanne Paul

Keeper of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 333149


Dr Emily Dourish

Deputy Keeper of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 747434 


William Hale

Rare Books Specialist

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 765689


Liam Sims

Rare Books Specialist

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 333123


Reading Room superintendents

All procedural questions about accessing the collections can be answered by the Reading Room Superintendents in person, and by phone and email before your visit. Within the Rare Books Reading Room, the Superintendents can advise on handling books, self-service photography and using the various catalogues and digital resources available. 

Agnieszka Drabek-Prime

Nicola Hudson

Claire Welford-Elkin

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 333117


Postal address:

Department of Rare Books 

Cambridge University Library 

West Road 



Unfortunately the Department is not able to provide valuations of books: for this you should contact an antiquarian bookseller or auction house. You can search for UK and overseas booksellers on the website of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, or the website of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. There is also a useful section on Your Old Books on the website of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (American Library Association).


Opening hours

Monday-Friday: 9.30-13:30 & 14:15-18:15
Saturday: 9:30-16:00

Please see for information on how to book an appointment to work with Rare Books.