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Frequently Asked Questions

Can students from any department borrow from the Seeley?

All Cambridge University members who can find a use for the Seeley collection are welcome to use the Library. Everybody has the same borrowing rights, but you need to register at the Reference Desk before you can take any books out.

How many books can I take out?

For the history and POLIS collection you can take out four books for three days and renew them three. For the Latin American Studies books you can borrow six books for two weeks.

We advise that you renew books towards the end of your borrowing period as the additional four days (or two weeks for Latin American Studies) is applied when you do this.

How do I buy printer credit?

We have computers and a printer at the Seeley, but you will need to buy printer credit to use them. This can be bought through following the instructions on the following website:

When are you open?

During term time we have the following opening hours (please not borrowing ends 15 minutes before closure):

Day Open Close
Monday-Friday 9:00 19:15
Saturday 9:00 18:00
Sunday 13:00 18:00


Out of term we have the following opening hours:

Day Open Close
Monday-Friday 9:00 17:00
Saturday Closed Closed
Sunday Closed Closed


What dissertations do you have?

We hold a substantial back catalogue of POLIS and History MPhil dissertations which can be viewed in the Seeley Library. They can be searched in the library catalogue, iDiscover, by title and author.

How can I pay fines?  

Fines can be paid in cash at the reference desk in the Seeley.

If you wish to pay by card you can do so on the Seeley Library website by selecting the ‘Pay your fines online’ tab. If it’s your first time using the system you will need to register your details before being allowed to process a payment for your fine.

Can I renew books online?

Simply select the ‘My Library Account’ tab on iDiscover to view the books you have on loan and the dates they are due back. When you click on the book you wish to renew you should see the date update to allow an additional four days from now. If the date does not change the book may have been requested by another user, so you will need to return it for the date shown.

If you have any trouble renewing or returning books please get in touch with the Library staff.

How do the classmarks work?

For the Library of Congress classmarks (starting with letters) you simply need to run through the characters alphabetically. For example:

DS5.95 .A85 2004

Start by looking for D and then follow the shelf from DA through to DS. Here you will need to search for the number 5.95 in order to complete the subject part of your classmark. Within the DS5.95 subject you will then need to trace the remaining letters and numbers before searching for the edition you require (2004 in this example).