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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 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 


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

Kathryn Jennings

Claire Welford-Elkin

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 764111


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: 9:30am to 6.50pm (operating in the Manuscripts Room from 5.00pm)

Saturday: 9:30am to 4.30pm, operating in the Manuscripts Reading Room

Sunday: closed

Please note that the Rare Books Room itself closes at 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and at 4.45pm on Fridays; our services relocate to the Manuscripts Room after these times.

On Saturdays 18 and 25 of May no new fetching will be available: we apologise for the inconvenience.

On Monday 20 and Wednesday 22 May we will relocate to the Manuscripts Reading Room all day.