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Magdalene College Library resources

Library Resources

Users of the College Library have access to a wide variety of print and digital resources, including books, journals, and reference works.

Our collection of some 30,000 books primarily supports undergraduate and taught graduates across all subjects. The collection is also a secondary resource for the College’s PhD students and Fellows. Details on how the collection is organised and how to find a book can be found in the ‘Searching and Finding’ Section.

We are continually reviewing and improving the collection and encourage Members to make recommendations for new books or additional copies. You can e-mail us, complete a book recommendation form, or talk to us in person. 

Book Collections

As well as the main collection, which will contain the books you need from your reading list, we have several specific collections that support general reading, reading for pleasure, welfare and wellbeing topics and study and writing skills.

Welfare and Wellbeing Collection

University life is exciting, but it can be challenging at times too. The College Library's Welfare and Wellbeing Section is available for users to access as and when they need, and includes titles on a range of subjects, such as:

  • Identity
  • Sexuality
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Relaxation
  • Sexual Health
  • Happiness
  • Fitness

Study and Writing Skills

Books to support writing, research and general study skills can be found next to the Welfare section on the Ground Floor.

General Reading

  • Contemporary fiction
  • Graphic Novels
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Popular Science

Recreational Reading

Located in the Social Space this is a collection of donated second hand books, ranging from fiction to cook books that do not need to be borrowed using your library card. Please feel to borrow and return when you are ready. The books can be identified by their RR spine label.

Donations to this collection are always welcome!

Duncan Robinson Art History Donation

An exceptional collection of Art History books donated to the College Mr Duncan Robinson CBE. Mr Robinson is a former Master of Magdalene College and Emeritus Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The collection is found at the shelfmark 15.A to 15.L but is currently split over two sites in College. If you would like to access a book in this collection and it is not currently shelved in the New Library then please contact a member of the Library Staff.

Musical Scores and Sheet Music

A collection Musical Scores and Sheet Music can be found at shelfmark 16.B. The collection is split between the First Floor and the oversized book collection on the Ground Floor (opposite the noticeboard).

Oversized Books

Oversized books that cannot fit in the usual sequence are collected together on the Ground Floor (opposite the noticeboard).

Print Journals and Reference Collection

Our reference section (2nd floor) holds several historical runs of print journals and magazines in a number of subjects. The Library's reference collection also includes a range of print dictionaries, encyclopaedias, maps and anthologies.

A large collection of law journals and reports is located on the 2nd Floor and within the Wigglesworth Law Library, alongside our borrowable law book collection.

Past Examination Papers

The collection holds bound volumes of past Examination Papers (located on the second floor), which are available for reference and which may also be photocopied.

DVD and other Media

The College Library’s DVD collection consists largely of material relevant to academic study, such as foreign language films, productions of Shakespeare's plays, and adaptations of classic novels. These are located on the Ground Floor.  These can be borrowed by any user, in addition to the Library’s collection of recreational films.

A DVD player with integrated screen and headphones can be borrowed from the Library Office on request on a Short Loan.

What other Cambridge Libraries do I have access to?

Most students belong to (at least) three libraries during their studies at Cambridge University: College Library, Faculty/Departmental Library and the University Library. Each library has their own rules, opening hours and borrowing rights.

You can find details of every library in Cambridge via this directory.

The University Library has produced a short video that introduces Cambridge Libraries.