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Cambridge University Library


remote access

Here is how we help you to keep studying, teaching and researching

Cambridge University Libraries provide a blend of online, zero-contact and in-person services, designed to give you the access you need to resources and support while keeping you and library staff safe. 

We continue to increase the availability of online resources and services to complement access to the physical collections. Our vast library of 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. 

You can also remotely access expert help from libraries staff to help you find and use the resources that are important to your work. 

All you need to enter the libraries online are your computer or mobile device, your University Raven password and an internet connection. Simply 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; find instructions on setting up a VPN here.

Our remote services

Our LibGuides help you navigate the library online, showing you how to:
  • find recommended resources for your subject, discipline or topic 

  • discover who to ask for help if you get stuck 

  • develop study skills to work more effectively and efficiently.      

Many of our training courses are run online, and include remote library induction sessions to help you get the most out our services. These courses are available to all students, staff and other members of the University. They are free - explore the programme and book to secure your place.

Libraries staff are also on hand to answer your questions directly. Contact us via these helpdesks and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

General enquiries
Electronic Collections support (E-journals & e-resources)
E-books support
Ravin login assistance
Information skills for undergraduates and taught Master's students
Scholarly communication and research skills visit
Open Access queries visit, email
Research Data Management queries visit, email
Subject-specific queries

Our Faculty and Department Library teams are running virtual helpdesks, 1-2-1 video meetings and virtual chats to answer your subject and information enquiries.


Electronic Collections: journals and databases

Over 130,000 ejournal titles and 400 databases are available off-campus. Find your essential guide to Cambridge University Libraries' services and support for online resources on our E-resources pages

Discover the latest on ebooks & ejournals, including: 

  • Browzine - a new way to browse scholarly journals by title and subject area, and to create your own journal and article library. 
  • an iDiscover widget to help you search for articles or journals online 
  • highlights of new e-resources available for the academic year 2020/21.

Visit How to access e-resources to learn all you need to know about accessing and using eresources easily and safely, including:

  • a Raven LibGuide for help and support on using Raven to authenticate for access to e-resources from off campus. 
  • the browser extension, Lean Library, that delivers an article to you regardless of where you are linking from. 
  • help on navigating authentication procedures on different platforms.
  • full information on terms and conditions for use of e-resources.

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

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

New electronic resources for 2021

A new set of electronic resources was made available for 2021 thanks to funding from the University of Cambridge to support continued teaching and learning throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We added the resources to our vast online library to allow members of the University to keep studying, teaching and researching, wherever they were. The links below will take you to the Electronic Collections Management blog, where you can learn more about these resources. 

Leading scholarly content to support all subject areas
Major additions to digital archives 
  • Archives Unbound - significant digital archives in a wide range of subjects
  • 8 key collections in the British Online Archives series
  • Historical Newspaper Archives, including:
    • parts 3, 4 and 5 of the British Library Newspapers (completing our collection)
    • The Telegraph and The Daily Mail digital archives 
    • access for 2021 to important historical newspaper archives
    • access to Digital Scholar Lab for text mining across all or a selection of the archives.
Resources to support specific disciplines

Links to these resources are available via the Cambridge University Libraries A-Z of e-resources, the newspaper pages and Newspapers LibGuide, and, where appropriate, you will find records at title and/or article level via iDiscover.


The University has access to over 1.75 million ebooks off-campus from a wide variety of publishers and most are available through links in the iDiscover catalogue. More information can be found in the Cambridge ebooks LibGuide

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

A list of additional e-resources, including ebooks, made freely available during the pandemic 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 electronically 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 you require access to material that is only held by the Library as an electronic legal deposit item, you can come to the UL to view it on a Library PC or request a print-out of an article or chapter.  

Inter-Library Loans

Electronic inter-library delivery is dependent on the British Library Document Supply Service.  For more information see the British Library On Demand service web pages

The University Library can apply for articles/chapters from part of the BL collections, some overseas libraries and some American Ph.D. theses. Please check our available resources carefully before sending your request.

Contact the following with your inter-library loan request

University Library
Medical Library - for all 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.  

Physical books

Please check the Borrowing LibGuide for details of borrowing books. 

Find guidance about how to return library books here

The University Library's physical collections can be accessed by visiting the library or via zero-contact services.

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

CUL is a member of HathiTrust, a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries, which preserves over 17 million digitised items. Through our membership of HathiTrust, our libraries were able to subscribe to HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which made some of our collections available remotely whilst access to the print collections was restricted during some months of the pandemic. ETAS made it possible for current members of the University of Cambridge with a Raven password to access digitised items in HathiTrust that corresponded to physical books held by our libraries. 

This was a temporary service only; in line with the terms of the special emergency arrangement, access to books on the platform was withdrawn at the end of the University's assessment period in July 2021 when restrictions to accessing the print collections were eased.  

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 prioritise requests for services to support readers with disabilities.

We are doing all we can to provide access to our digital resources, and make more available where feasible. We are working in a way that ensures the safety of libraries staff, and ask for your patience and courtesy in communications.