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Rare Books and Manuscripts

The Classes for the books in this Library are all of Norway Oak, elegantly fitted up & neatly carved; 5 of which are in each chapel . . . [there is] a neat wainscote cabinet with glass doors for the MSS and other curious books . . . [and] a wainscote box with a glass door, in which stands the sceleton of a malefactor executed at the Castle of Cambridge" 


Mid-eighteenth-century description of King’s Library in the side chapels on the south side of King’s College Chapel by William Cole (1714–1782)

Rare Books and Manuscripts

The Library contains many thousands of rare books and manuscripts and antiquarian music. Highlights include over 200 incunabula, autograph manuscripts by Isaac Newton, Jane Austen’s autograph manuscript of Sanditon and Shakespeare’s First Folio, as well as the rare book collections of Jacob Bryant, George Thackeray, John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster, and Louis Thompson Rowe’s music library. 

Here we present an initial selection of books and manuscripts from the Library which will be added to over time.