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Welcome to the Munby Rare Books Reading Room. 

These temporary reader guidelines are in place while the room is accessible through Book a Visit

  • Please ensure that you wear a face mask throughout your visit, unless you are exempted from this requirement. 
  • Please wash your hands before working with Special Collections materials, and before and after taking refreshment breaks. Hand sanitiser is also available at stations throughout the building. Any sanitiser must be dry before you handle your books. 
  • Books and other requested materials will be waiting on the table you have reserved. No other materials can be called up on the day of your visit. 
  • No food or drink is permitted in the Rare Books Reading Room. Please leave these items in the cloakroom. You are welcome to use the Tea Room or courtyards for refreshment breaks. Please note there is currently no catering service in the Tea Room.
  • Please use only pencils and computers for taking notes. You can plug your laptop into the sockets under the wooden flaps at the centre of the tables. Pens, highlighters and sticky notes are not permitted.
  • When you have finished, do not return your books to a member of staff, instead leave them on the table. If you wish to reserve books for another visit, use the reservation slips provided.
  • Photography of books fetched to the Room is allowed, subject to the condition of the book. If you would like to photograph an item, please email the staff team at and a member of staff will assess your book as quickly as possible.

During your visit, please do not approach the staff desk. If you have enquiries about the material you are using, or require assistance, please email the staff team at This email is being constantly monitored and staff will assist you as soon as they can. 

The image above is from Thomas Rowlandson's infamous cartoon of The Public Library at Cambridge. 

Contact us

Rare Books Department
Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR

Phone: 01223 333117