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Finding Books and DVDs

Subject arrangement in the library Suggest a book or DVD for the Library
Journals and journal articles Other libraries in Cambridge

The Library contains approximately 35,000 books and 300 DVDs in its working collection and approximately 4,000 books in its rare and special collections. All items are described on iDiscover. Please ask Library staff if you would like any help. The undergraduate library is arranged according to Dewey Decimal Classification. Books are classed by a sequence of numbers according to their main subject and sub-division of that subject, followed by the first three letters of the author's name. The list below shows the Library location for each subject. DVDs are shelved outside the office.


All members of College may borrow up to 20 items at a time. You borrow and return items using the self-issue machine near the entrance to the Library.

Subject arrangement in the library

African History 960-969 First floor
American, Canadian & Latin American History 970-980 First floor
American Literature 814-819 Ground floor
Ancient History 930-939 Landing
Archaeology 930.1 First floor
Anthropology 301 Extension
Art & Architecture 700-730 Ground floor
Australasian History 993-996 First floor
Biology 570-599 Ground floor
British History 941 Landing/First floor
Chemistry 540-549, Ground floor
Computer science 000-009 Ground floor, immediately left at foot of stairs
DVDs   Ground floor display shelf
Education 370 Extension
Engineering 620-629 Ground floor
English Literature 820-829 Ground floor
European History, general 940 Landing
Far Eastern History 953-958 First floor
Geography 910 Landing
Geology 550-559 Ground floor
German literature 830-839 Ground floor
Greek literature (classical) 880-889 Ground floor
History, world 909 Landing
Latin literature 870-879 Ground floor
Law 340-349 Extension
Languages and linguistics 400-499 Extension
Management 658 Ground floor
Mathematics 510-519 Ground floor
Medicine 610-619 Ground floor
Medieval and modern literature 830-899 Ground floor
Music 780 Ground floor
Natural Sciences 500-599 Ground floor
Philosophy 100-199 Extension
Physics 520-539 Ground floor
Reference Ref 001-999 Ground floor centre aisle (O Ref = Old Library)
SPS 300-337 Extension
Theology & Religion 200-299 Extension
Veterinary Science 636 Ground floor


But the book isn't on the shelf!

Check the catalogue to see if it is lent. If so, contact the Office and we will contact the current borrower to see if it can be shared or returned. "Returned". Is it on a trolley waiting to be shelved? What is the location? Books with the locations "Extension stack" or "Old library stack" won't be on the shelves as they are held in store. Just ask a member of staff or email us and you will be able to consult the book in the library. Is the book missing? If so, let us know you need a copy and we will see if we can find another copy for you.


Journals and journal articles

Use iDiscover to search for electronic journal information. You can search this to locate specific references or to find the subscription journal articles available on a particular topic. If there is no electronic journal coverage for a journal or article you'd like to consult, use iDiscover to find the print journal.


Rare books

BookThe Library holds more than 4,000 rare and special books on a variety of subjects but especially in Theology and Archaeology. Virtually all rare books have been catalogued and can be searched for on iDiscover. The books in our special collection of 19th century church and missionary history have short records only.

Suggest a book or DVD for the library

Can't find what you want? We welcome suggestions from Selwyn fellows and students for purchases for the library. Just email us on or fill in the online form. Please remember that it may take up to 3-4 weeks for books to be delivered and processed but we will keep you informed of progress. You are welcome to consult our Library Collection Development Policy


Other libraries in Cambridge

There is plenty of information about other Cambridge libraries at the Cambridge Libraries homepage. Details and contacts for all the libraries associated with the University are to be found in the Cambridge Libraries Directory (Map). All University members may use their own college library and faculty/departmental library, as well as the University Library (UL). Use iDiscover to locate material. Students should contact the Librarian in the first instance if they wish to use another library. Most will be willing to allow members of other colleges or faculties to consult works under supervision.


Cambridge University Library

The University Library provides access to a vast array of resources. It is a legal deposit library, meaning that it is entitled to claim a copy of every publication in printed form published in the UK and Ireland. It also holds extensive collections of overseas books, journalsmaps, photographs and music and has extensive special collections of rare booksmanuscripts, and other materials. It also subscribes, and provides access, to a vast array of electronic resources for all members of the University, although users may need a Raven password to access these, particularly if they are connecting from machines outside of Cambridge.