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Cambridge University Library


zero contact service

We have designed a range of zero-contact services to safely expand access to world-class physical collections not available in electronic format.

Unable to visit the library? Start by exploring the libraries online. If the material you need isn't available in electronic form, Scan & Deliver offers an electronic delivery service, whilst Ask a Curator allows you enhanced remote access to Special Collections items. 

To enable these services to run safely and consistently throughout the term, it is really important that you order only what you need and that your orders are collected on time.     

Zero contact services at the University Library

  • Scan & Deliver - request an individual scanned copy of one chapter (or 5%) of a monograph or one article per issue of a journal from the modern collections held in Cambridge University Libraries, subject to relevant conservation approval and copyright permission. You may order free low resolution digital scans of Special Collections items for personal research use if the material you need is suitable for scanning and the volume of your request is reasonable. 

You may also use this form to request a printout of a chapter or article from any material held by the library as Electronic Legal Deposit, normally accessible only via designated computers. 

  • Virtual Reading Room - engage the help of our expert curators who can discuss your questions over the phone or via a video call. They may also be able to check material on your behalf in order to answer specific questions or consult the material with you via a video call. This service is available to all.

  • Click & Collect - order selected physical books and journals through a webform, then make an appointment to collect the items from the main entrance of Cambridge University Library.  Our Click & Collect service requires a large number of staff and lots of time to run. By using Browse, Borrow & Read where you can, you enable the library to provide more services to more people.

  • Users are able to return books to the UL or to drop boxes on other library sites. 

Please note that Click & Collect and Scan & Deliver are only available to some current staff and students (including ICE staff and students, and NHS partners). However, all users can Browse, Borrow & Read (borrowing is possible if your membership currently permits this). 


When you come to the University Library to return books or to attend a collection appointment, strict adherence to Covid-protocols is essential:  

  • wear a face covering in the libraries, unless you have an exemption.  
  • observe social distancing and respect the changed layout and one way routes in libraries.   
  • follow #StaySafeCambridge rules: wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly, including before, during and after your library visit. 


Zero-contact services are also available in many Faculty and Department libraries; please check the website of the library you want to use.