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Library & Archive

Girton has one of the largest and most comprehensive College libraries in the University, holding in the region of 95,000 books

The 1930s building of the Library, with its awe-inspiring vaulted timber ceiling, was complemented in 2005 by a multi-award winning extension. This created a spacious IT resources area and a state-of-the-art repository to house the Archive and the Special Collections. These collections range from rare Sanskrit manuscripts to gifts of books from Girton’s most notable early supporters such as Tennyson, Ruskin and George Eliot. There are extensive and internationally important collections on the history of women and work, the suffrage movement, and women’s education, as well as an extensive archive of the College’s ground-breaking history.

Library News

Girton College Library: Easter Term update, 27 April 2021

Girton College Library will be continuing throughout Easter Term with its current mix of in-person and remote services.  

Current members of College can book seats or browsing sessions in the Library at the following times:

  • 9.30am–12 noon
  • 2.00pm–4.30pm
  • 6.30pm–11.00pm

We regret that there is no access without pre-booking and you can't just "pop in".

Please note:

  • You are expected to arrive within the first 10 minutes of your booked session.  
  • Face coverings should be worn at all times while in the Library. By placing a booking to use the Library, you are committing to wearing a face covering for the duration of your stay. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering or prefer not to wear one while studying, please book to use a study room instead and use "click & collect" to borrow books.
  • If you are eligible for but not participating in asymptomatic household testing, you may not use communal study spaces such as the Library.  Please book to use a study room instead and use "click & collect" to borrow books. 
  • If you are using Library materials such as books, please make sure that you wash or sanitise your hands every 30 minutes. If you are using a Library computer or other equipment, it is your responsibility to disinfect it before and after use. You must maintain 2m social distance while in the Library and if you queue to enter.
  • If you wish to print using the Library's printers, please book one of the Library's computers. However, it is possible to print to the "Find me" printers in Old Kitchens and the Swirles Court laundry area from ANY device if you download the Mobility Print or Cloud Print software.  Please see https://www.vle.cam.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=197071&section=17 for more information.
  • The Library is not a suitable venue for sitting online exams and assessments.

**Now that more people are back in College, bookings to use the Library have also increased. However, we are finding that up to 50% of those who have booked for a session are not turning up, leaving seats unused.  If you have booked sessions in advance that you will no longer be able to attend, please CANCEL them using the link in your booking confirmation emails or by emailing library@girton.cam.ac.uk so that the seat can be made available to others.**

We would like to let you book as many sessions as you wish but, as more students return, we need to ensure access for as many as possible.  If the current rate of "no shows" does not improve, we shall:

  • Limit the number of bookings any one person can make to a maximum of 5 per week
  • Limit the number of days in advance that you can make bookings

Current members of College can book use of the Library's study rooms (D33, D34, D35) at the following times:

  • 8.30am–12noon
  • 1.30pm–5pm
  • 6.30pm–11pm
  • 11pm–6.30am

We regret that there is no use of the study rooms without pre-booking, even if you don’t want a whole session. To book a study room, please go to https://calendars.libraries.cam.ac.uk/calendar/girton

Please note that only members of the same household can use a study room at the same time.  You can book a study room just for yourself or on behalf of other members of your household as well as yourself IF as you give the names of everyone who will be using that study room during that session.

  • If you are booking just for yourself and you know that no-one else from your household will want to join you, please make sure you book ALL the seats in the study room when you place your booking
  • If someone from another household has already booked some of the seats in a study room, do not book the remaining seat(s) for yourself.
  • Just because a study room is empty, do not assume that means it's available for use.  It might simply mean that the people who have booked haven't arrived yet! 
  • If you are using Library materials such as books, please make sure that you wash or sanitise your hands every 30 minutes.


All items on loan to current students are due back on Wednesday 28 April unless we know that you will not be in Cambridge

  • Please return your loans using the drop-boxes in the corridor outside the Library.
  • For everyone's convenience, items borrowed from Monday 26 April onwards will be issued until Monday 17 May.


Remote support

  • Current members of College resident in Cambridge can use "click & collect" to request loans of print material or DVDs held by Girton College Library via the form at https://girtoncollege.wufoo.com/forms/click-collect-request/.  Please allow at least three working days.  
  • For help finding or using online resources, please email us at library@girton.cam.ac.uk.
  • We are participating in the UL's "scan & deliver" service. More information about this service is available at https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library/zero-contact-services/scan-deliver.  Please do not email us directly to ask for scans from print items held by Girton but instead use this centralized service. Note that it does not include items held by Girton College Archive or any of the Library's special collections.
  • We are holding weekly online drop-in sessions – Wednesdays at 4pm. All welcome. Details are included in the Thrive emails sent on Mondays. 
  • We are holding regular "solidari-study" sessions – usually Monday afternoons. Details are included in the Thrive emails sent on Mondays.
  • One-to-one support is also available.  Please email library@girton.cam.ac.uk to arrange.

Thank you.


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