Established in 1855 the Cambridgeshire Collection, based at Cambridge Central library, is a major, multi-media research library which provides a wide range and variety of resources on Cambridgeshire and its history.
Books and pamphlets
This collection contains over 80,000 items including:
- County, city and village histories
- Street directories for Cambridge, 1866 - 1975, listing streets, occupants and occupations (up to 1939), tradesmen, officials etc
- County directories, 1790s-1937, listing general village history, officials, major residents, tradesmen
- Trade and telephone directories
- Dissertations and theses, and unpublished indexes. Various levels of study held dependent on their importance
- Victoria County History Vols I-X
- Handbills and political posters
- Playbills relating to theatrical events
The collection includes holdings of over 40 newspaper titles dating from 1762 in either original print editions, microfiche or microfilm copies
- The Cambridge Daily/Evening News 1888 - current
- The Cambridge Chronicle 1762-1934
- The Cambridge Independent Press 1815-1981 (continued as Cambridge Weekly news to date)
Maps and plans
The Cambridgeshire Collection holds maps relating to the city and county dating from the 1570s to the present day. Most of these are printed and published maps relating to the geographical area of the old county of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Geological, land utilisation, soil and other specialised maps are also available.
Original manuscript maps may be found at Cambridgeshire Archives.
Cambridge City maps
A variety of printed, single sheet maps of Cambridge from 1574 to present are available. Accuracy and detail can vary greatly.
Cambridgeshire county maps
A comprehensive set of printed, single sheet maps of Cambridgeshire from 1576 to present exist as well as plans of villages. Accuracy and detail is generally not good before the 1830s with the practical use of the early maps being rather limited.
- 1:50,000 scale from 1836 to date
- 1:25,000 (2 1/2) c.1950 ed
- 1:10,000 (6") 1902, 1927, 1951 and 1980
- 1:2,500 (25") 1902, 1927, 1951 and 1970
- 1:1,250 (50") 1967 (only produced for Cambridge City)
- 1:500 (46ft) 1887 (only produced for Cambridge City)
Photographs and illustrations
The Cambridgeshire Collection holds over 55,000 separately indexed items dating from the 1680s onwards, including images of places, people and events across the whole county. Also, thousands of negatives, which are listed though not individually catalogued.
Illustrations are separately listed on the Library Online Catalogue.
Ordering copies of photographs
Copy prints can be ordered from the Cambridgeshire Collection. Payment in advance is appreciated.
Photographs copying charges
|6 x 4 inches|| |
£5 (black and white)
|7 x 5 inches|| |
£6 (black and white)
|8 x 6 inches|| |
£7 (black and white)
|10 x 8 inches|| |
£8 (black and white)
|12 x9 inches|| |
£10 (black and white)
|16 x 12 inches|| |
£18 (black and white)
|Negatives of privately owned images||£6|
|Transparencies - 35mm projection slides||£2|
Scanned images may also be provided at the discretion of the Local Studies librarian.
High quality images can be provided through our FSB Scanning Bureau
Delivery times and postage:
- £1 within 2-3 weeks
- £7 within 1 week
Opening hours for the reading room when staff will be available
Monday 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday 9.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm
2nd Saturday each month, 10.00am - 5.00pm
Cambridge Central Library
7 Lion Yard
Email: [email protected]
Group visits to the Collection
'Behind the scenes' visits to the Collection can be arranged for groups on request. This includes evening visits (outside of normal opening hours) when groups will have exclusive use of the searchroom and material in the Collection. For group visits there is a charge of £50 including VAT.
External talks can be given to groups and societies about the Collection. If you would like to book a talk there is a charge of £65 including VAT. Please use the above contact details to obtain more information.