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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Studying at Cambridge


Borrowing books

All current staff, students, visitors and alumni of all departments and faculties of the University of Cambridge with active University Library cards are welcome to borrow from the Whipple Library.

Please bring your blue University card or white University Library card to the staff desk, and we will activate your borrowing privileges.

Libguide: borrowing from Cambridge Libraries

Loan periods

Except for books from the Reserve Collection, all loan periods are 4 weeks in the first instance. However, non-reserve loans will auto-renew for as long as you have an active borrowing account.

Reserve books

These are always due back by closing time the next working day.

Book allowances

Members of University staff may borrow up to 20 books at a time. All other borrowers may borrow up to 10 books at a time.

Borrowing books

All books borrowed from the Library must be signed out to a registered user.

Please use the self-issue terminal next to the staff desk, or ask a member of staff in the library office to issue the books to you.

If you need to borrow a book from the Reserve Collection, ask at the staff desk. Reserve books may be in high demand and must be returned before closing time the next working day.

Requesting books

If the book you need is currently on loan, you can request it via iDiscover. You'll receive an email when it's ready to be picked up, and we will hold requested books for up to 7 days.

Returning booksReturn books on time T-rex drawing

Please return all books to the staff desk for processing.

If you are unable to come to the Library during opening hours, please post books for return through the letterbox of the front door of the Department on Free School Lane.

You will receive automated statements of the books you have on loan at the beginning of each month, as well as an email notification if another library user requests a book you have on loan. Please remember to check your emails regularly in case somebody else requests a book you have out on loan. You must return recalled books within 3 working days.

Renewing books

Books will auto-renew unless they have been recalled, with the exception of Reserve Collection books, which will always be due the next working day.

Overdue books

We do not charge fines for overdue books - however, regularly returning books late may result in being banned from borrowing for a period of time.

If you are genuinely unable to return overdue books in good time due to extenuating circumstances, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know.

Lost and damaged books

If you have lost or damaged a book, please let us know. We may ask you to cover the cost of replacement.