World-leading Research

Cambridge University Library Research Institute supports a portfolio of collections-based research projects

Current research projects

Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries

A project to digitise, catalogue and conserve over 180 medieval manuscripts, and to transcribe the more than 8,000 unpublished medical recipes that they contain. This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.


The Cambridge Heritage Science Hub (CHERISH) aims to build a connected community for heritage science and archaeological research in Cambridge through the development of partnerships and collaborative projects.

Cambridge History of Innovation Project (CHIP)

CHIP aims to curate a public archive of Cambridge technology innovation since the 1960s and use this research and material to tell stories of Cambridge innovation for a range of audiences.

Documenting the role of UK Science in the Covid-19 pandemic

This project investigates what would be needed to implement a national programme to collect, preserve and provide access to the UK's scientific response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global Bible: British and German Bible Societies Translating Colonialism

A project aiming to critically investigate British and German contributions to the creation of a global bible, that is the attempt to translate Christian scripture into all the languages of the world.

Creating new connections: shared digital curation of the Royal Commonwealth Society southern African collections at Cambridge University Library

The project aims to consider and develop approaches to co-production and co-curation using RCS material relating to southern Africa.

Digital Approaches to the Capture and Analysis of Watermarks

This project investigates digital humanities approaches to the extraction and analysis of watermark images, and their research potential in grouping and dating manuscripts, using Isaac Newton manuscripts as a test case.

Using the CUL’s Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, this project explores France during the Second World War, the Liberation and the immediate post-war period.

Hidden in Plain Sight:
Historical And Scientific Analysis Of Premodern Sacred Books

The project employs a range of innovative technologies to explore how ancient books were used, modified and venerated.

"Small performances": investigating the typographic punches of John Baskerville (1707-75) through heritage science and practice-based research

An interdisciplinary project that will make a substantial contribution to the history of printing technology, whilst ensuring it is a living process that will continue into the future.


Writing is a medium of communication that represents language through the inscription of signs and symbols.


Writing is a medium of communication that represents language through the inscription of signs and symbols.

Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit

The Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah Collection at Cambridge University Library is the world's largest and most important single collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts.

Since its foundation in the 1970s, the Genizah Research Unit has conserved, catalogued and completed research on the Collection. Their work continues the Collection's legacy as an unparalleled resource for the academic study of Judaism, Jewish history and the wider economic and social history of the Mediterranean and Near East in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period.

Find out more about the Genizah Research Unit and its research activities on their website linked below:

The Genizah Research Unit team share regular updates on their research and discoveries via their Genizah Fragments blog.

Ottoman-era painting of a man firing a cannon while standing on a wheeled cart CUL Or.1081.J.55

Ottoman-era painting of a man firing a cannon while standing on a wheeled cart CUL Or.1081.J.55

Past research

Explore previous projects involving Cambridge University Library in our past research portfolio linked below:

Greek gospel book CUL MS Dd.9.69 (f. 139r)

Greek gospel book CUL MS Dd.9.69 (f. 139r)

COVID-19 image Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS © Public Health Image Library.
Baskerville punches by Maciej Pawlikowski.

Collections items featured:
Curious Cures manuscript CUL MS Dd.6.29 (ff. 27v-28r)
Promotional material for the Stereoscan II, Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company Archive, CUL Box 50.
Image from South African Collections, CUL RCS/Marnham S
Bible distribution by British and Foreign Bible Society to Taranaki Mission, New Zealand. Used with permission, Alexander Turnbull Library Reference: F-029.
Great Bible, Paris/London 1538/9, St John's College Cambridge, undergoing XRF analysis at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge.