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University of Cambridge : University Library

Global Guide to Japanese Collections held at the University of Cambridge

General Information

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DR
+44 (0) 1223 333 155
+44 (0) 1223 333 160
Monday to Friday
09:00-19:15 (Last entry 19.00)
 * 09.00-22.00 (in Easter Full Term)
09:00-17:00 (Last entry 16.45)

More information here.

Sunday, Christmas, New Year, Easter, English Bank Holiday



The University of Cambridge Library is composed by a main building and over 100 dependent and associated institutions. It is one of the UK copyright deposit libraries and holds over 8 million items, many of which are available on open shelves. The Library was established in the early years of the 15th century, but the current UL building was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, and the project  was competed at the beginning of the 1930s. 

The Library has an extremely rich collections of rare materials (manuscripts, early-printed books, music scores, maps). Amongst the most notable items: one copy of the Gutenberg Bible (1455), Charles Darwin's archive, or the 30,000 volumes comprising the 'Royal Library'.

Click here to read a historical sketch of the Library. For more detailed information on the history of the UL, see Cambridge University Library: a history (Cambridge University Press, 1986) by J.C.T. Oates and D. McKitterick. 

Digital Collection(s)

High-resolution images from the collections are being made available online as part of the Cambridge Digital Library.

Summary of Collection(s)

Notable Collection(s):

The Special Collections Division comprises the following departments and collections:


Online Catalog: Newton (supports CJK characters), Library Search (no CJK support), Library Search+ (support CJK characters, allow to search for articles, ebooks, and more)


Click here to see a comprehensive list of all the Library projects (externally funded, ongoing, completed).

The Library supports researchers with a number of prizes and fellowship:

Finall, the Library also offers numerous conferences and learning opportunities:



How to Use the Facility

  • Academic staff and research students from other universities can apply to use the Library for reference.
  • A £10 administration charge for 6 months (or £20 for 12 months) applies to applicants from non-UK universities and the public.
    Please refer to the Admissions webpage for full details.
  • Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students from other UK universities can apply to access the Library for reference during Cambridge vacations.
  • Private and business researchers may apply to use the Library for reference if their research requires access to materials held at the University Library. Please note that researchers wishing to access the University Library must be aged 18 years or over.

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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