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Cambridge University Library is open for limited services from Monday-Friday. Online registration is now available. Book a visit to view material in the Main reading room or a Special Collections reading room. Please read more about our phased reopening of the UL and Faculty and Departmental Libraries.

Cambridge University Library


remote access

Here is how we will help you to keep studying and researching


In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, Cambridge University Libraries closed to library users at 5pm on 18 March 2020.

As we gradually reopen the University Library building to staff and students, we are offering limited access to physical collections. Happily, many of our services to students and staff are available online wherever you are with your mobile device, University Raven password and internet connection. We have put in place a temporary collection development policy to direct purchases to support teaching and learning during the pandemic.

We are here to help.

General FAQs for library users during the coronavirus outbreak:

Help with remote access to electronic resources:

For subject specific advice, you can also access the resources and support available from your Faculty and Departmental Library website. The teams are still working, just not in their usual library home.

Virtual Helpdesks are in place for your subject and information enquiries from our expert teams working from home. Please follow the links on the FAQs above to channel your enquiry to the right team. All general enquiries can be addressed to:

All of our electronic resources, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases, are available from any location worldwide, with the exception of titles received through electronic legal deposit, for current students and staff of the University of Cambridge. 

Log in with your Raven ID and password when prompted.  This may be referred to as an Institutional Login

VPN access will also allow you to continue accessing our electronic resources. For instructions on setting up a VPN

Journals and databases

Over 120,000 ejournal titles and 400 databases are available off-campus. More information on how to discover and search them can be found at You can also find free open access research outputs on the institutional research repositories round the world. These should appear in a Google search, but you can also search Cambridge’s institutional repository, Apollo, here:

A list of additional e-resources made freely available during the outbreak through the generosity of publishers can be accessed through this page.


The University has access to 800,000 ebooks off-campus from a wide variety of publishers and most are available through links in the iDiscover catalogue. More information can be found at

We are acquiring more ebooks daily, particularly to support students. If you need a book and it is not yet available electronically we can help obtaining it as an ebook if it is available from the publisher.

To recommend an ebook for acquisition please see this page:

We are delighted to say that Cambridge University Press has responded to the emergency by making all 700 titles in its textbook collection available in HTML format free of charge on its Cambridge Core platform.

Further publishers are responding by making selected textbooks available or removing limits on usage of existing ebooks. A list of additional e-resources, including ebooks, made freely available during the outbreak through the generosity of publishers can be accessed through this page.

Electronic Legal Deposit

Electronic legal deposit books, journals and web content cannot be made available beyond the physical premises of Cambridge University Libraries under the terms of current legal deposit legislation.  This can only be changed by government through new legislation. 
If students and academic staff require access to material that is only held by the Library as an electronic legal deposit item we will try to obtain it electronically with a wider license so that it is accessible off-campus via Raven; this will be on a case-by-case basis.  Please use the form at to recommend book and journal titles.


Books on loan from the main University Library, faculty and departmental libraries, and some college libraries will auto-renew. Please check the latest information at No one will face library fines for any late returns. 

Inter-Library Loans

Inter-library print loans cannot be supplied as this material has to be read on Library premises and many other libraries in the UK are now closed and unable to circulate new loan requests. Where possible, we will try to match your request to an ebook purchase.  To recommend an ebook for acquisition please see this page:

Electronic inter-library delivery is dependent on the British Library Document Supply Service, which is currently operating a very limited service prioritising NHS and Covid-19 related requests.  For more information see the British Library On Demand service web pages.  

Please check our available resources carefully before sending your request in

Contact the following with your request: (University Library) (English Library for Humanities and Social Sciences requests) (Medical Library) (Moore Library for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths requests)

Please note that although this service is currently free, we reserve the right to impose a cap on the number of requests.  

Readers with disabilities

If you are a library user with a disability and have an enquiry or request, please get in touch using the email address If you need resources in an accessible format we will continue to support you remotely wherever possible from the available electronic resources. You can use the SensusAccess tool to create an alternative format document. Click here to use SensusAccess. We will prioritise services to support readers with disabilities.

Remote assistance

We support remote users of our services in a number of ways.

Our LibGuides provide a wealth of information on resources by discipline and topic.


Please note: Although we are doing all we can to provide access to our digital resources, and make more available where feasible, this will only be possible in circumstances where it does not compromise the health and safety of Libraries staff.