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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 ask you to complete a short registration form to activate your borrowing privileges.

Loan periods and book allowances

 How many?How long?VacationReserve collection
Undergraduates (including Part III) 10 4 weeks All items due back on first day of Full Term (Tuesday) Borrow any time; return by closing time the next working day
University staff 20 8 weeks 8 weeks (vacation borrowing does not apply) Borrow any time; return by closing time the next working day
All other groups 10 4 weeks 4 weeks (vacation borrowing does not apply) Borrow any time; return by closing time the next working day

How to borrow

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

Please use the self-issue terminal on Level 2, or bring the books you wish to borrow to the staff desk for processing.

Please ask at the desk if you wish to borrow from the Reserve Collection. Reserve books can be borrowed any time and must be returned before closing time the next working day.

Returning booksReturn books on time T-rex drawing

Please return all borrowed items 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, and email us to confirm you've done so.

Renewing books

All library users may renew Whipple Library books three times online providing the books are not already overdue. Further renewals may be possible if the material is not in high demand. Please contact Library staff by email (for preference) or by phone to arrange this.

Overdue books

You will receive automated reminders by email when your books are due back. The Whipple Library does 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 books by the due date because of illness or other circumstances beyond your control, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know, and we may be able to renew the book for you.

We would rather spend staff time on maintaining and improving other services than on chasing overdue books, so thank you for your co-operation in this matter!