Cambridge University Library

Free to all

From a few dozen books kept in a chest, Cambridge University Library has grown over six centuries into a monumental collection of international literary importance.

This venerable institution is home to over eight million books, maps, manuscripts and journals that cover innumerable subjects and span 3,000 years of history in 2,000 languages.

Housed since 1934 in a building designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the library also now has a digital home, opening itself up to readers throughout the world. You can see a digital version of a beautiful Japanese manuscript teaching the art of flower-arranging, acquired in 2017 with Art Fund support, here.

The library continues to add to its physical collections, recently acquiring the literary archives of Dame Margaret Drabble and the war poet, Siegfried Sassoon, the Montaigne library of Gilbert de Botton, and the Codex Zacynthius, an important manuscript of St Luke’s Gospel.

With such rich treasures in its care, the library curates exhibitions and holds talks and special events, making its invaluable collections accessible to the general public as well as the world’s scholars.

Please note there is a charge to use the library (details here), but the entrance hall displays, exhibition centre and the digital library are free to all.

Visitor information


Cambridge University Library

West Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3 9DR
01223 333000

Free to all

Opening times

Mon - Fri, 9am - 7pm Mon - Fri in Full Easter Term, 9am - 9.45pm Sat, 9am - 4.45pm Closed Sun

Exclusions and safety measures

For holiday closures, please see Cambridge University Library website.

Visitor information

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

The more you see, the more we do.

The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.

Are your sure you want to leave checkout?