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Corpus Christi College University of Cambridge

Information for Readers

The Library generally grants access to the collections if there is demonstrable reason for consulting them. While readers are usually of senior or postgraduate standing, with experience in the handling of manuscripts and early printed books, we welcome enquiries from students of all levels.Before applying to see original manuscript material, it is expected that readers will have made full use of surrogates, in particular the material available online on Parker Library on the Web and the catalogues of the collection.

Application procedure

The Sub-Librarians are pleased to receive all applications, but have to make certain that all readers admitted are properly introduced and are accustomed to handling the type of material that they wish to see. For this reason, the Library reserves the right to ask readers to work from digital surrogates or microfilm. Applicants are asked to:

  • Contact the Library, either by post or by email (, explaining the purpose for which access is sought, the materials they wish to see, and their experience in handling rare material. A concise CV must be included.
  • Provide an academic letter of introduction from their home university or an institution of similar standing.
  • Produce documentary evidence of identity (e.g. passport) upon arrival.

The Library is open most days from 9.00 - 1.00 and 2.00 - 5.00. We advise all applicants to contact us well in advance to book an appointment, as the Library often has a busy schedule. Failure to do so may mean that a request for a specific date cannot be granted, due to other, previously-arranged commitments. 

The Parker library also houses an extensive reference collection of secondary literature that supports the study of our rare material.

Readers arriving at the College with an appointment should go in the first instance to the Porters' Lodge, where they will be directed to the Parker Library.