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Cambridge University Library


ghost words

We are open!

Medieval scribes used to recycle old books by scraping the parchment clean and writing a fresh text over the top. Known as palimpsests, these reused manuscripts have long attracted scholars, who have sought to decipher the lost texts and erased history that lies beneath the newer ink. This exhibition examines the quest to retrieve these ghost words.

Visit the exhibition

Our exhibition is open during the times below for you to drop in and visit. Please read our latest COVID-19 guidance before your visit.

Opening times for the Exhibition Centre will be as follows:

Monday-Friday 09.00-18.30

Saturday 09.00-16.30

Sunday closed

If you are planning to visit the exhibition in a group of 6 or more people, please contact us by emailing so that we may discuss your visit.

Important: Please be aware that on Tuesday 26th October the exhibition will be closed from 4pm due to an event taking place. 

Guided tours

We are now taking bookings for weekly guided tours of the exhibition, hosted Fridays at either 10-10.45am or 2-2.45pm. Please click on the link below to book onto one of our free weekly tours. You can also email us at if you would like to talk to us about bespoke groups tours of the exhibition.

Tickets for guided tours

Generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, and the Friends of Cambridge University Library.

Virtual Tour

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