Main history collection


The Seeley Library sits at the heart of the History Faculty and has traditionally been referred to as Cambridge University’s History Library. Over its long history a collection of nearly 100,000 books, journals, pamphlets, audio-visual material and MPhil theses has developed into a comprehensive collection. We also have a selection of prize winning undergraduate dissertations.

The vast majority of the Seeley’s collection is dedicated to the study of people, ideas and locations throughout history. We aim to support all reading lists for the Faculty of History and therefore specialise in areas that are deemed important by the academic community. The older material is organised by an in-house classification scheme ranging from 1 to 30. A second collection of newer material has a Library of Congress classification and is dominant throughout the Seeley.

Each year a small selection of primary sources for the Special Subject papers are shelved in the Special Subject Room. These items may only be borrowed from 2.30pm until 10.30am the next day (or from Friday afternoon to Monday morning). They can be identified by a small green sticker, with the letter of the Special Subject, on the cover.

For more information about the Special Subject papers see the Faculty website.