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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


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 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 333122

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: 9.00-18.50
Saturday: 9.00-16.30 in Manuscripts Reading Room**

Books are fetched from 9.00 to 18.15 on weekdays. Requests may be emailed to with one working day's notice. 

**Rare Books fetching, reading and enquiry services relocate to the Manuscripts Reading Room on Saturdays. Specialist staff are available to answer enquiries and enable access to card catalogues and reference materials.