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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Library resources

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Picture showing a student working within the library overlooking Fountain Court
Student working in the library

The library primarily stocks books, DVDs and anatomical models for part 1 of the Tripos. However some provision is made for part 2, clinical medics and graduates. Readers are allowed to borrow up to 20 books at any one time. The standard borrowing policies are available from the Borrowing from Cambridge Libraries Libguide.

Finding books

The library's catalogue can be found via iDiscover from the dedicated enquiry machine found in the library or via your own computer. From the entries on the catalogue you will be able to see how many copies of a book are in the library, the editions, and whether they are available for loan.

The library operates on a Dewey decimal based classification system (a decimal number followed by the first three letters of the Author's Surname, e.g. 942.7 JOH), and the numbers ascend through the library with the lowest numbers in the basement and the highest on the top gallery. Some classmarks have a prefix signifying that they are part of a separate collection of books, and will be out of the normal shelving sequence. The main special sections are WOMEN (next to the stairs on the ground floor), F or FOLIO which signifies an outsize book (at the end of the first floor gallery), RAWSON (far end of the ground floor), GABE (beginning of the sequence on the second floor gallery) and STORE (available on request from a librarian, only to be used in the library).

Borrowing books

The library has self-service borrowing, although books can be borrowed in the library office during staffed hours. The self-service issue machine is located near the library entrance. You will need to scan in the barcode on your University ID card, enter your surname and then scan the barcode on the front of each of your books. If there is a problem with the computer or if you have forgotten your borrowing card, please email, including your name, author name, book title and the book barcode, which begins with a "T" followed by five or six digits, e.g. T100587.

Returning books

Returned books should be placed in the Book Return Bins which can be found just inside the entrance to the library. 

Renewing books

Standard loan books renew automatically. If a book is needed by another library user, you will receive an email direct from the library system to request that you return the book within 2 days. The due date of that book will be changed on your library account to reflect this. If you are unable to return items for any reason please contact the library staff on

We do ask that when you have finished with an item, you return it to the library so that it is available for others to borrow.  

Requesting books

Books on loan to other readers can be requested using the library catalogue.  When requested items are returned, you will receive an email advising you that the items are ready to collect.  You can collect your requested items from the Click and Collect shelves - they will have already been issued to your account, you do not need to self-issue them. 

Other Library Resources

Medical models

The library has a selection of skulls and mini skeletons which can be borrowed for a week at a time.  We also have a reference collection of large scale models including a brain, torso, pelvis, lower limb and upper arm.  These are located in the basement display unit.  Please ask library staff for the key during staffed hours.  Outside staffed hours the key can be obtained from the Porters.

Films and DVDs

The library has a large collection of DVDs which support the Tripos alongside films for general viewing. All the titles appear in the library catalogue.  The library also has some external CD/DVD drives and headphones which can be used with your device for watching films. These are available to borrow from the Library Office.  Many more DVDs and CD-Roms are available at the University Library and departmental or faculty libraries.


The library does not take any periodicals, as hard copies are available at the University Library and departmental or faculty libraries.  The library subscribes to the Journal Coordination Scheme which allows access to thousands of journals, which can be accessed electronically through the library catalogue iDiscover or via the ebooks Libguide.

Accessibility and support

The library provides support and equipment to make the library more accessible. A Click and Collect (book fetching) and Scan and Deliver service is available for all students.  Library staff can also work with you to discuss any specific needs or requirements you might have in terms of study space or access to resources. If you need any assistance or advice, please contact us at or speak to a member of library staff.

The library has the following accessible equipment: coloured overlays, coloured paper for printing, magnifiers, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, lightboxes, lumbar supports, wrist rests, padded foot rests, whiteboards and pens, coloured whiteboards, book rests, laptop rests and ear defenders.  Most of this equipment has a library barcode and can be borrowed using the self-issue machine on the ground floor.  Equipment can also be requested through the Click and Collect service. Please email your request to stating which equipment you would like to borrow.  We will issue the item(s) to you and leave it for you to collect from the Click and Collect shelves in the library foyer.

Other Libraries

Alongside the college library, students also have access their faculty library/ies and the University Library. A short introduction to Cambridge libraries can be viewed here.

Faculty and Departmental Libraries

The faculty and departmental libraries are specialist libraries that will stock subject specific items.  These libraries stock material for part 1 and part 2 of the Tripos, as well as material for graduate study. 

University Library

Students are also members of the University Library.  Around 60% of books and journals in the UL are stored in closed access areas. These items need to be requested in advance and fetched for you to use in the Reading Room or West Room. If the item you want has the message 'Order in Reading Room' or 'Order in West Room', you should normally be able to place an online stack request in advance via iDiscover.