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Find books and ebooks

Printed books

Use iDiscover to search the University’s libraries print and online collections using a single search. Find journal articles, books, ebooks, ejournals, videos, theses, open access content and more. You can filter and refine your searches by location, format, date of publication etc. iDiscover also has a mobile interface. Consult this iDiscover LibGuide for help on using iDiscover. All of our printed books are catalogued on iDiscover.

The PC next to the self-issue machine in the library is dedicated to catalogue searching.

Books in the Chemistry Library are organised on the shelves according to the Library of Congress system.

What does "Online access restricted to designated PCs in the main UL + affiliate libraries" mean?

Where it says on a record for a journal or a book "Online access restricted to designated PCs in the main UL + affiliate libraries", this means that it is an e-legal deposit copy. Cambridge University Library is one of six 'legal deposit' libraries in the UK & Ireland. This means it is entitled to receive a copy of every book and journal published in the UK from the publisher, for free. Recently the law was changed to include electronic books and journals and so many publishers now choose to deposit the online versions instead. These items are available on designated PCs in the main University Library and Affiliated Libraries only (which does not include the Chemistry Library), please see this website for more information on how to access them. Please be aware that you will not be able to save the PDF, and will only be able to print it off if the library has a printer connected to the terminal, please see the link above for which libraries this applies to.

What does "Available at University Library. Order from Library Storage Facility" mean?

Many 'low-use' items from libraries across Cambridge are held in an off-site store, called the Library Storage Facility (LSF). This means that you need to make a request on iDiscover for it to be fetched from the LSF for you. Items fetched from the LSF are not borrowable and can only be consulted at the University Library (but you can photocopy/scan a paper or a book chapter there). Go to for more information on how to make a (free) request, and turnaround times etc.


You can also access e-books through iDiscover i.e. if you perform a catalogue search for a book and there is an electronic book version of it available, you will retrieve a record for it which will contain a direct link to that e-book. 

The e-books provide online versions of complete texts, allowing readers to search, print and download sections of works (subject to the usual copyright restrictions where you may only copy up to 5% or one whole chapter, whichever is greater, from a book). Additionally, they offer features such as dictionary checking and citation export; electronic notes and bookmarks can be made by creating a personal account. Some e-books can also be downloaded to mobile devices.

Please see the ebooks@cambridge LibGuide for further information on which ebooks are available in the university, and how to make the most of them.

New ebooks purchased by the University are advertised on the Chemistry Library blog and the ebooks@cambridge blog.

Here is a list of some chemistry related ebooks that have been purchased so far.

Using and borrowing books from other libraries

You are able to access most other libraries in Cambridge (except for college libraries which generally only admit their own members). We recommend that you consult the Libraries Directory website to look up the library and find out its location, admission policies, opening hours, etc. before you visit.

The Chemistry Library has reciprocal arrangements in place with some Cambridge libraries whereby library staff will scan book chapters on behalf of our readers, and vice-versa, so before you make a special visit to another library please check with us first to see if this service is possible. 

The Betty & Gordon Moore Library also offers a free 'Scan & Deliver' service to get remote access to any of its material that is not currently available electronically, which includes book chapters.

How to find a book or book chapter not available in Cambridge

The Chemistry Library has a Document Supply account with the British Library. Please visit the Request items not held in Cambridge page for more information.

How to recommend a book or ebook for purchase by the Chemistry Library

Please visit the Recommend a book or other resource page.