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Welcome to the Munby Rare Books Reading Room. 

  • Please sign in at the entry point the first time you come into the room each day. Due to staff changes across the day, you may be asked to do this more than once and we appreciate your patience with our team in ensuring the security of the room. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Coats and bags (including see-through Library carrier bags) must be left outside the room, either in the main reader cloakroom or on the coat rack immediately outside the Rare Books Reading Room. Laptop cases may be left with staff near the room entrance point.
  • 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.
  • Please support your books while reading them. Bookstands, cushions and book weights will be provided on the table when you come in. Please see our guidelines for handling Special Collections material. Staff are happy to help with this. 
  • 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 check with staff at the reading room desk if the item is suitable.

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 764111