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University of Cambridge

Cambridge Digital Library

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Our Collections

Treasures of the Library

In this special collection we draw together books, manuscripts and other items of particular significance. Many of them have been displayed in Library exhibitions in the past – now they can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world, and browsed cover to cover.

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Board of Longitude

Cambridge University Library holds the entire archive of the Board of Longitude, the state organization established in the eighteenth century to evaluate methods for finding ships’ position and to encourage a host of projects in instrument design, clock-making, mapping and voyaging.

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Newton Papers

Cambridge University Library holds the largest and most important collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). We present here an initial selection of Newton's manuscripts, concentrating on his mathematical work in the 1660s.

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Darwin-Hooker Letters

These letters are a connecting thread that spans forty years of Darwin's mature working life from 1843 until his death in 1882. They bring into sharp focus every aspect of Darwin's scientific work throughout that period, and illuminate the mutual friendships he and Hooker shared with other scientists, but they also provide a window of unparalleled intimacy into the personal lives of the two men.

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The Cairo Genizah Collection

The Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah Collection at Cambridge University Library is the world's largest and most important single collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts.

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Hebrew Collection

For over five hundred years Cambridge University has been building up one of the world’s most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts.

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Islamic Manuscripts

The Library's Islamic Manuscripts collection began in the 1630s and now numbers over 5,000 works, which shed light on many aspects of the Islamic world, its beliefs and learning. Our initial selection includes several early Qur'anic fragments on parchment.

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Christian Works

A selection of some of our finest Christian manuscripts and early printed books, from the Bible to the liturgy, spanning over 1000 years of worship and debate.

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Sanskrit Manuscripts

A taste of the substantial catalogue and online collection of Sanskrit manuscripts the Library will be making available in 2013-14.

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Peterhouse Manuscripts

Peterhouse (founded 1284) is the oldest of the Cambridge Colleges, and holds a significant collection of medieval manuscripts. As part of the process of recataloguing and preserving the College's collections, it has been decided to present highlights from the Peterhouse manuscripts in digital form.

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Spanish Chapbooks

A small sample of this fascinating popular literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During 2013-14 eight thousand chapbooks will be added to the Digital Library.

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Exhibition Items

The Library holds regular exhibitions, usually organised around a particular theme or collection. Depending on the chosen theme, the exhibition cases might contain anything from irreplaceable works of world importance to newspapers or printed ephemera. They demonstrate the breadth of the Library's holdings and often yield surprises.

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