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The New Library Magdalene College Cambridge

Visiting and Supporting the Library

New Library: Access Policy

The New Library is a working student library, and like all institutional libraries, it operates a restricted access policy. The building is in 24-hour use, seven days a week, as a place of quiet study and research. We are closed to visitors in term term and on evenings and weekends. 

In order to avoid disruption, and bearing in mind limited staff resources, it is not possible to provide routine access to non-College members. Therefore we are unable to offer group tours or drop in visits upon request and instead offer small tours (max 4 people per request) when staff are available. To register for the waiting list for New Library tours please email

Given the level of current interest, please understand that you may receive an autoreply indicating that visits are not presently available. No visits should take place or be advertised until permission has been received.

Alumni Visiting the New Library

The New Library is a source of great pride for the College and alumni are understandably interested in visiting. We do however have to be mindful that the College Library is a quiet study space in constant use by our students and visits to the New Library are subject to the following parameters:

Out of term: July to September and December to mid-January

Members can arrange visits Monday-Friday, 10.00am - 12.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Your visit must be arranged in advance, with a minimum of 2 working days’ notice. It is possible to bring family members for your visits but please remember that it is a quiet place of study at all times.

Members are asked not to bring guests other than family as it is possible for third parties to apply to visit the New Library by contacting to arrange a visit. 

Michaelmas and Lent Terms: October – November and mid-January to March

Members can arrange to visit, Monday-Friday 10.00am - 12.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm dependent on staff availability (as visits must be accompanied). It is not possible for groups to visit, and alumni visiting during term are limited to 2 people maximum.

Easter Term and Easter Vacation: April – June

The New Library is closed to all non-resident Members due to examinations taking place.

Booking to visit

If you would like to visit the New Library, please email to make a booking.

Members of the public wishing to visit the New Library should contact

Supporting the New Library

The Magdalene Family Book Fund is a new initiative to significantly grow and enhance the College library collections we hold in the New Library thus giving our students access to the highest quality resources for their study and research.

A £50.00 gift will support the purchase of books for the award-winning New Library. Donors to the Magdalene Family Book Fund are recognised with a dedicated bookplate listing the name of the donor.

Find out more and make a donation to the Magdalene Family Book Fund.

Donations Policy

Throughout its history the College Library has benefitted from book donations.

We are always very grateful to receive publication donations to the library. Those wishing to make a donation are advised to contact the Library in advance, and if possible to provide a list of books being offered to check against our current holdings.

The primary purpose of the College Library is to support undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses, constraints on resources may mean that we must be selective in what books we can accept.

Donations and bequests are accepted on the understanding that the books become the property of the College on receipt, and may be removed at any time in the future. Items that are not retained (either at the time of receipt or subsequently) may be passed to other libraries, sold or otherwise disposed of, the proceeds of any sales being used to the benefit of the College.

For further information, please download our Libraries and Archives Donation Policy.

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