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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

Monday 29 November 2021: revised guidance on face-coverings

In line with other libraries within the University, face-coverings should now be worn for the entire time you are in the Library (unless exempt). This includes while seated and studying.

Thank you.


Wednesday 24 November 2021: Girton College Library End of Michaelmas Term and Vacation arrangements.


All items on loan from Girton College Library are due to be returned by 11pm on Monday 29 November, except:

  • If we have already agreed a later date with you.
  • If you have a supervision or work due later that week — if you are, please email as soon as possible to agree a new date with us for the return of your loans.
  • If you are in self-isolation or quarantine — if you are, please tell us as soon as possible by emailing
  • If you are a member of staff or Fellow — if you are, we will be in touch separately.

There will be no borrowing via "click & collect" between Friday 26 November and Wednesday 1 December (until 1.30pm). Any online forms submitted between these dates will be disregarded. Please email to make a special arrangement. You can continue to borrow in the Library between these dates.


Vacation borrowing starts on Wednesday 1 December.

You may borrow up to 10 items for the vacation. No vacation borrowing is permitted until all term loans have been returned.

From 1:30pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021 you can borrow via "click & collect". Please pay close attention to emails containing collection information. If you need to nominate someone else to collect on your behalf, please make sure you forward the collection information to them.

From 1:30pm on Wednesday 1 December, you can borrow in-person in the Library. Please book a seat or a browsing session in the usual way.

Please note that there is no borrowing from the study rooms.

Anything borrowed for or during the vacation will due back by 11pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022.


Library’s Vacation opening hours:

  • Open for booked morning (9.00am–12.30noon), afternoon (1.30pm–5pm) and evening (6.30pm–11pm) sessions until Sunday 5 December.
  • From Monday 6 December, open for a pre-booked morning (9.00am–12.30noon) and afternoon (1.30pm–5.00pm) sessions, weekdays only.

Current members of College should book to use the Library during these timed sessions.

However, the Library will be closed completely for the period beginning Wednesday 22 December 2021 until Monday 4 January 2022.

It may also be necessary to close at other times, possibly at short notice. Please be guided by the booking software. If in any doubt, please phone 01223 338970.


Hyphen study rooms (D33, D34, D35):

Please note that the opening hours for the study rooms will change from Monday 29 November, as follows:

Daily from Monday 29 November to Tuesday 21 December (subject to COVID requirements)

D33 D34 D35
8am–12noon 9am–1pm 10am–2pm
1pm–5pm 2pm–6pm 3pm–7pm
6pm–10pm 7pm–11pm 8pm–12midnight
11pm–6am 12midnight–6am 1am–6am

Current members of College should book to use the study rooms during these timed sessions.


Thank you.


Thursday 7 October 2021: Library FAQs


Do I have to book to use the Library? Can I pop into the Library without booking?

We regret that for the time being, you need to book to use the Library.  If you are a someone who likes to plan in advance, you can book in advance.  If you prefer to be more spontaneous, you can book at the point of entry. The booking software can be found at and there is also a QR code on the door itself.

In order to enable everyone to maintain a degree of social distancing within the Library, we need control over the numbers of people using the Library at any one time. However, the requirement to book will be reviewed regularly during Michaelmas Term.


What are your opening hours?

We are open as follows, 7 days a week:

  • 9am–12.30pm
  • 1.30pm–5pm
  • 6pm–11pm

We are not open between 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and between 5pm and 6pm, so that purge ventilation can take place. When you book to use the Library, you will be booking for a timed session that matches those opening hours. However, you do not have to be in the Library for the whole of the timed session; you may enter or leave at any point during the timed session.

These opening hours will be reviewed regularly during Michaelmas Term.


How do I borrow books from the Library?

If you are booked to use the Library (whether that’s for browsing only, or you’ve booked a study space or a computer), you take the books you wish to borrow to the main desk, along with your University Card. A member of Library staff will issue the books to you.

Alternatively, you can use our "click & collect" service, and collect your loans from the Porters' Lodge. If you are in self-isolation or quarantine, please nominate someone to collect your books for you.

Undergraduates are all able to borrow immediately from Girton College Library. If you are a new postgraduate, please let us know if you would like to borrow.

More information about borrowing can be found on the Library’s webpage.


How do I find out which libraries have the items on my reading list?

You can use the iDiscover catalogue to find out which libraries hold print copies and what’s available electronically. There is lots of information about the iDiscover catalogue at

If you know you are looking for a printed book in Girton College Library, you can search our very own catalogue. You can find help about using this at


How can I print?

You can:

Whichever option you use, you will need to make sure you have enough printer credit:

You can find more information about computing at Girton on the Moodle page: Girton College IT information for students.


I am vulnerable: where do you recommend I study?

We have tried to make Girton College Library as safe as we can, while not placing too many restrictions on its use. We are still expecting everyone to wear a face-covering while moving around the Library, unless exempt, and we are enabling social distancing of at least 1m. Every table is clearly marked with a recommended maximum capacity of either 1 or 2 people. If you would prefer more space, please use the booking software to select to use “Upper Library: study space in side room”. However, you will need to walk through the Library to reach this space.

Alternatively, you may prefer to book one of the study rooms along Hyphen corridor to use for solo study. These use a different version of the booking software, which can be found at When you book a study room, you can specify whether you are booking just for yourself or on behalf of a group.


If you have any questions, please do email There will also be weekly “Ask a Librarian” sessions on Zoom.  You can also find full information about the Library & Archive at



Tuesday 18 May 2021


We are please to announce that researchers can now make appointments to use Girton College Archive: please see the full information at


Follow us on Facebook: @GirtonCollegeLibrary

Library Guides

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