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Welcome to the Chemistry Library

Congratulations on holding an offer of a place to study chemistry at the University of Cambridge! This may be as an undergraduate or as a prospective new MPhil or PhD student.

The Chemistry Library at the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry will be your subject library while you study chemistry and do your research. Find more information about Cambridge Libraries below. 

Please watch our very short video ‘Chemistry Library: The Virtual Tour’ to view the amazing library space, understand how collections are organised, and what facilities are available.

Please see also this 360 degree image of the library (click on the 'Explore 360' link and use the arrows to view and move around the space, and click on the 'i' buttons for further information).

There is also much more detailed information about our services and facilities on our website, including on Assistive resources support you may need. 

Chemistry Library staff can advise on a wide range of information-related topics, from literature searching and evaluating the information you’ve found to reference management and how to avoid plagiarism. They also care about your wellbeing and have a dedicated Wellbeing Area with jigsaw puzzles, colouring books, pens and pencils, and so on, so that you can take time away from studying to relax and refresh. 

If you have any questions please contact Chemistry Library staff at Sara Wallace is the Acting Librarian while the Librarian, Clair Castle, is on secondment until September 2024. 



The CamGuides pre-arrival courses are designed to help you start your studies with information literacy and digital literacy skills. The courses will also help you to develop transferable academic skills, to support you throughout your studies and beyond. There are courses for undergraduates, Master's and PhD students. Topics cover: Finding and using appropriate information resources; Software for academic use; Managing information; Managing your digital presence; Preparing for your studies. The courses are designed to be accessible by any student at that level, in any discipline. Accessing the courses is entirely optional, and need not be limited to pre-arrival; the courses will remain active throughout the year. 


Reading Lists Online for NST Chemistry courses

Course information can be found on the Department's Teaching website. 

There is an NSP offer-holders reading list for prospective NST (Natural Sciences Tripos) students. The Chemistry Library has created online versions of the reading lists for all of the current undergraduate courses on the Reading Lists Online (RLO) platform. The online reading lists include printed as well as electronic books (but the links to ebooks will only be accessible to students once their place has been accepted).

These resources are useful for postgraduate students to consult while supervising undergraduates.


Access to electronic resources

Please consult the How to access online resources remotely web page to get an idea of what online resources will be available to you i.e. ebooks, ejournals, databases (but the links to these will only be accessible to you once your place has been accepted).


Accessibility and disability

The more virtual way of working at the moment means that you will need to access online resources for your study and research, and this can be complicated if you have accessibility and/or disability requirements. Please visit our Assistive resources web page for further information on the accessible services and resources that we and other Cambridge libraries offer.


Training and library induction resources

Postgraduate students participate in courses (including library orientation) that are developed and run by the Chemistry Library, as part of the Postgraduate Education Training Programme. Information on and materials for the training provided by the Chemistry Library is given on the postgraduate education and undergraduate Chemistry course Moodle sites, including links to other training sources available at Cambridge (students are given access to these sites when they join the Department).

The Library Study Skills Catalogue is a growing collection of resources and workshops available to all students, as provided by Cambridge Libraries. It can be searched using simple keywords, and resources can be filtered by subject/study area, to help you find relevant study support and materials to aid your learning. 


Committee for the Library and Scholarly Communication

All students have representation on our Committee. You are encouraged to give them, or library staff, your feedback on the library services we offer.


Cambridge University Libraries

There are more than 120 libraries in Cambridge! Cambridge University Libraries has produced this video for new students which introduces libraries at the University of Cambridge and its colleges. 

The University Library (or UL) is one of six 'legal deposit' libraries in the UK and Ireland, which entitles it to receive a copy of everything published in the UK. The UL itself holds more than eight million books, mainly arts, humanities, and social sciences material, but also a considerable amount of material in the natural sciences. The remaining legal deposit books are located in libraries across Cambridge. Of most relevance to chemistry: general science books are held at the Betty & Gordon Moore Library (see below), and books in clinical medicine are held at the Medical Library on the Biomedical Campus, for example. Faculty and department libraries purchase books for the development of their own specialist, subject related collections (see below).

The Betty & Gordon Moore Library (or Moore Library) is the UL’s equivalent for the sciences. It provides the University’s major working collections in science and technology. This includes collections in mathematics, physics, astronomy, computer science, materials science, engineering, biological, chemical, earth and environmental sciences. The Moore Library is quite a large library with a variety of spaces in which to work, and the staff are very welcoming and helpful.

New to the West Cambridge campus is the West Hub. The Hub is open to all members of the University for study, collaboration, and socialising. The West Hub Library forms part of the Technology Libraries Team, including specialists supporting the University's Departments of Engineering, Computer Science and Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

Faculty and department libraries (e.g. the Chemistry Library) offer more specialised collections and electronic resources for particular subjects. You are welcome to register with and use any of these.

College libraries contain standard course texts and other related materials. They can usually only be used by their own members.


Study spaces across the university

Try using SpaceFinder to locate study spaces available in Cambridge Libraries and other venues around the city. Find other library websites on the Cambridge Libraries Directory.


Library orientation

To ensure you get the most from the University’s libraries, the UL and many of the College, faculty and department libraries offer practical sessions and one-to-one help. These include introductory tours, sessions to highlight the resources available for particular disciplines and information skills classes.

For further information, visit Cambridge Libraries.


We hope you will find the Chemistry Library to be a friendly, supportive, and inspiring environment in which to study. We look forward to meeting you soon!