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Access online and zero-contact services across our libraries. Limited in-person services are available at the UL and in some Faculty and Department libraries. Visit Using the Library for information on services and support to help you study, teach and research.

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.

We have adapted our services to keep you and our staff safe during Lockdown 3. Please make the libraries online your first port of call. 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. 

Click & Collect and Book Returns are available onsite. Whilst we are in lockdown, please use these two services in the spirit of UK government guidance which stresses that travel should currently be limited to essential, local journeys only.  

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. 

  • Ask a curator - 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. This service is available to all.

  • Click & Collect - order selected physical books and journals online then make an appointment to collect the items from a designated point at Cambridge University Library. 

  • Click & Collect PLUS - access non-borrowable modern material from the West Room (a limited temporary service available to postgraduates, teaching and research staff, and MPhil students at the University of Cambridge).  

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


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; some of these services may look a little different to last term, so please check the website of the library you want to use.   


Please note that Click & Collect and Scan & Deliver are only available to current staff and students (including ICE staff and students, and NHS partners). We regret that they are not currently available to our alumni, members of other universities or private researchers. We keep this under regular review and hope to be able to welcome back the wider membership of the library as soon as possible.