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  • Writer's picturePam King Sams

Cambridge University Library -home to one of the world’s greatest collections of cultural treasures.

Cambridge University Library is one of the oldest university libraries in the English-speaking world – and home to one of the world’s greatest collections of cultural treasures.

Beginning as a small chest of manuscripts for Cambridge scholars in the early 1400s, the Library has grown to house a collection of nearly ten million books, maps, manuscripts, photographs and priceless objects, spanning thousands of years of human thought and discovery in more than 2,000 languages.

Today, more than 600 years later, Cambridge University Library preserves and shares the world’s knowledge – from a 4,200-year-old Sumerian clay tablet, to 19th and 20th century posters demanding suffrage and equal rights for women. Alongside the works of Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare and some of the world’s earliest fragments of the Quran, is one of the most comprehensive collections of British books anywhere in the world.

Across 17 floors of books, maps, photographs and an assortment of unexpected objects – including ectoplasm and séance trumpets – Cambridge University Library cares for a globally-important collection of works which illuminate the immortal power of storytelling, and humankind’s unending quest to better understand our place in the universe.

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