Public Engagement and Outreach
Distinct from the Pepys Library, the Old Library has housed the historic books of the College in First Court since the fifteenth century, in what was the medieval Prior's residence.
The Old Library is open to the public on the first Thursday of each month from 11am to 1pm. The Old Library’s collections are also explored in our programme of events for the Friends of the Pepys Library.
Visiting The Old Library
As well as enjoying the historic, book-lined rooms, Visitors will see displays of items from the College's special collections and archives, which are not normally seen in public.
The programme of special one-day exhibitions is as follows:
6 February 2020: TWENTIETH-CENTURY FIRST EDITIONS: from the Avant-garde to Neue Helvetica. An informative and colourful display from the extensive collection of twentieth-century first editions and dust jackets housed here at Magdalene College.
5 March 2020: GEORGE MALLORY: from Student to Mountaineer. An exploration of
George Mallory's life from his undergraduate days at Magdalene College (1905-1909) to his final expedition to Everest in 1924.
2 April 2020: FERRAR PAPERS: a selection of the Old Library’s Ferrar Papers recently
returned from exhibition at the Jamestown Museum in the United States. The selection of papers on display will focus on the lives of women who travelled from England to settle in Virginia four hundred years ago and what challenges they encountered.
Visiting the Old Library is free and all are welcome.
A book cleaning and condition checking project is currently taking place in the Old Library. Heritage volunteers from The Arts Society Cambridge have been given specialist training to help complete this task.