Information for current students

Current students can find here all the information they need about the library, such as opening hours, names of members of staff, catalogue searches and how to recommend a book.

Information for prospective students

The College has a very well-stocked Library, which is a quiet and pleasant place to study. It is open 16 hours a day. Pembroke’s Library has an excellent collection in all the main teaching subjects, and undergraduates are encouraged to order books for them. The Library currently has approximately 40,000 books on its open shelves, and an increasingly extensive DVD collection. The Library includes a Law Library, and a lift to the upper floors for disabled access.

Click here for a virtual tour of some areas of the Library.

Library Inductions for Pembroke students

Click here for a brief history of the Library.

Information for researchers

Pembroke has some 40,000 rare books stored in secure and appropriate conditions. It also has a stock of manuscripts that are housed at the Cambridge University Library. Recently, the Hadley Collection of about 1,000 books on the Napoleonic era has returned to Pembroke. Click here for more information about the Collection.

For appointments to see the Pembroke Manuscripts, please contact the staff in the Manuscripts Reading Room at the University Library, giving as much notice as possible. Information about the Manuscripts and permission to publish images will need to be obtained from the Librarian at Pembroke College. A reproduction fee may be charged.

Scholars wishing to consult Pembroke’s rare book collection or the Hadley Collection may do so by appointment only and upon presentation of a letter of introduction from their academic institution and, in the case of PhD students, from the supervisor of their thesis. Please write at least two weeks in advance to the Librarian stating the reason for your request. There is no online catalogue at present; the card catalogue is arranged by author name. The Library reserves the right to ask readers to work from digital surrogates or microfilm, such as our microfilm reels of the Ronald Storrs papers – click here to access a list of these reels and what they contain.  For archive enquiries please consult the Librarian in the first instance.

Readers arriving at the College with an appointment should go in the first instance to the Porter’s Lodge from where they will be directed to the College Library. Appointments may be made on week-days only, subject to staff availability, and between the following times: 9 am – 12.00 pm, and 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm.

Please note that the Library will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December 2017 and Tuesday 2nd January 2018.


Digital Images from the Pembroke Library

Pembroke hopes in the future to make more of its rare books available in digital form. We  have a digital copy of Ortelius’ Album Amicorum which is now available on the Cambridge Digital Library Pembroke College page. This album comprises contributions (signatures, inscriptions, poems, drawings, engravings, coats of arms) to the renowned Flemish cartographer, geographer and antiquary Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) from a distinguished and international group of his friends.  The contributions were gathered over a number of years and more than 130 of his contemporaries are represented.  The list of friends includes William Camden, Gerhard Mercator, Christopher Plantin, Justus Lipsius, John Dee, Jean Bodin and many others.  Some of the contributions appear to have been written into the album (on pages prepared by an illustrator with elaborate and handsome decorative borders), others were separately prepared or sent and subsequently laid down.  Some are on paper, others on vellum.The book was digitised in 2003 through the generosity of Tony and Christine Wilkinson.

Matthew Wren’s Benefactors’ Book has also been digitised and a CD-ROM is available on application to the Librarian.

We have recently digitised 5 volumes of E.G. Browne’s diaries and they are now available on the Cambridge Digital Library.  This video film which was made in conjunction with the digitisation explains the process and significance of these unique diaries.

Please note that prior permission to reproduce digital images from Pembroke material must be sought from Pembroke College (enquiries to be directed at first instance to