The Cambridgeshire Collection is open to researchers on both an appointment and drop-in basis. We look forward to welcoming you.
- Please do not visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone who has.
- Please obey all COVID-19 social distancing rules in the building.
You are able to drop in to use the Cambridgeshire Collection whenever Cambridge Central Library is open. However, we cannot guarantee a space for you as social distancing rules are still in place. To avoid disappointment, please contact us beforehand to ensure materials and space is available when you wish to visit us
Please note: The study space is only available for people using our resources. The Cambridgeshire Collection staff will not be present after 5pm.
Making an appointment
Appointments are available on:
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am to 11:45am, 12:15pm to 2pm and 2:15pm to 4pm
- Tuesday and Thursday: 12 noon to 1:45pm, and 2:15pm to 4pm
- The second Saturday of each month: 10am to 11.45am, 12.15pm to 2pm and 2:15pm to 4pm
Your appointment must be confirmed by a member of staff.
It helps if you can let us know in advance what you would like to look at so we can have it ready for you. You can check the catalogue below, or ask via email.
Books and pamphlets
This collection contains over 80,000 items including:
- Over 60,000 books and pamphlets, including county, city and village histories
- Street directories for Cambridge 1866-1975 listing streets, occupants and also trades (up to 1939)
- County directories 1790s-1937 include general village history, tradesmen, officials and important residents
- Dissertations, theses and other unpublished material
- Archaeological reports
- Victoria County History for Cambridgeshire, vols 1-10
- Playbills and theatre programmes dating from 1791
- Contemporary material including planning documents
- Historic registers of electors and poll books from the early 18th century onwards
Maps and plans
The Cambridgeshire Collection holds a comprehensive set of printed single sheet maps of Cambridgeshire from 1620 to the present, as well as street plans of towns and villages. We also have printed single sheet maps and street plans of Cambridge City dating from 1574. Before the 1830s, accuracy and detail of the maps is generally not very good so practical use of the early maps is rather limited.
Original manuscript maps may be found at Cambridgeshire Archives.
Our holdings include Ordnance Survey maps of various scales dating from 1886 including:
- 1:50,000 scale 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)
Maps for sale at Cambridgeshire Collection
A number of printed copies of full colour historical maps of Cambridge, Huntingdon and wider Cambridgeshire are available to buy from our collection at Central Library, Cambridge. Click the link below for details. To view or purchase, please call in or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cambridgeshire Collection holds a comprehensive set of printed single sheet maps of Cambridgeshire from 1620 to the present, as well as street plans of towns and villages. We also have printed single sheet maps and street plans of Cambridge City dating from 1574. Before the 1830s, accuracy and detail of the maps is generally not very good so practical use of the early maps is rather limited. Original manuscript maps may be found at Cambridgeshire Archives.
Cambridgeshire map copies available for purchase and pricing
|Cambridgeshire maps for sale||Approximate size||Price|
|Jansson – Comitatis Cantbrigiensis (1646)||A3||£2|
|Blaeu – Regiones Inundatae (1648)||A3||£2|
|Blome’s Map of Cambridgeshire (1671)||A4||£1|
|Moore’s Great Level of The Fens (1720)||A3||£2|
|Simpson’s Map of Cambridgeshire (1746)||A4||£1|
|Bowen’s Cambridgeshire (1751)||A2||£5|
|Ellis’s Modern Map of Cambridgeshire (1768)||A4||£1|
|Moule’s Map of Cambridgeshire (1863)||A4||£1|
Huntingdonshire map copies available for purchase and pricing
|Huntingdonshire maps for sale||Approximate size||Price|
|Blaeu’s Huntingdonshire (1645)||A3||£2|
|John Speed’s Huntingdonshire (1662)||A3||£2|
|Blome’s map of Huntingdonshire (1673)||A4||£2|
|Bowen’s Huntingdonshire (1760)||A2||£5|
Photographs and illustrations
The Cambridgeshire Collection holds over 80,000 separately indexed items dating from the 1680s onwards, including images of places, people and events across the whole county.
The Collection also holds thousands of photo negatives taken at the Post Office Terrace Studios in Cambridge between the 1880s and 1980s. These are listed but not individually catalogued. Some of these are listed on the Fading Images website, which includes much useful information about Cambridgeshire photographers.
Special photography collections also include:
- US Airmen in Cambridgeshire photographed during WW2. 589 images now available online. To browse the collection, search for ‘America in Cambridge’ on the online Cambridgeshire Archives catalogue.
- The Cambridge Antiquarian Society ‘Photographic Record’ of around 70,000 photos mainly of Cambridgeshire villages in the 1920s and 1930s
- The Anthony Day Collection of photographs of Wicken and the surrounding area
All illustrations we hold are listed in the libraries online catalogue. You can limit the search by choosing Collection – Local Studies Illustrations from the advanced search option.
Photograph copying charges
Copies of our photographs may be ordered for private use and research. Images cannot be reproduced or published in any form without our consent. Payment is required in advance.
|6 x 4 inches||£5|
|7 x 5 inches||£6|
|8 x 6 inches||£7|
|10 x 8 inches||£8|
|12 x 8 inches||£10|
|Scans||£5 per image|
Fees for production in the media and publication are available upon request.
Talks about the Collection
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 £75 including VAT.
Contact us at email@example.com to find out more.
We also run regular events relating to the collection including local author talks and behind the scenes tours. To view information on upcoming events, please see our Eventbrite webpage.