Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Cambridgeshire Collection is a major research library established in 1855 and exploited by the creation of detailed catalogues and indexes. The Collection comprises books, newspapers, maps, illustrations, handbills and tape recordings. For a more expansive description see the Cambridgeshire Collection web site.
Street Directories for Cambridge, 1866-1975, listing streets, occupants and occupations (up to 1939), tradesmen, officals, etc.
County Directories , 1847 - 1937 listing general village history, officals, major residents, tradesmen.
Electoral Rolls , listing names and addresses of people entitled to vote, poll books, listing anem, street, occupation of voters and who they voted for.
Periodicals Periodicals Local : including East Anglian Magazine (E.A.M), Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough Life (C, H & P L) - generally containing brief articles, sometimes of dubious accuracy.
Local learned : Cambridgeshire Local History Council "Bulletin" (L H C Bulletin), Cambridgeshire Antiquarian Society Proceedings ( C A S Proceedings); L H C articles can be very good; C A S should be reliable.
Notes and queries ; East Anglian ( E A N O), Fenland (F N O); interesting snippets.
Local society/firm ; activities, developments.
Village : sometimes with feature articles of importance by elderly villagers.
Church: modern : usually parochial news, the occasional interesting article.
Church: old : pre-war the parish magazine contained many detailed notes on village activities and organistations which can make them important.
National : "Architectural Review", "Country Life", Women's magazines - often contain important and specialist articles.
Various levels of study held dependent on their importance
Newspapers Newspapers Holdings include cuttings on over 750 topics from the local and some national press for the last 20 years. Newspapers contain various types of information:
News - this will include "known" events such as foundation stone laying; "unknown events such as unsuspeced arson, suicide, activities.
Feature artcilces - poverty, "How the Parish Council works in...", etc.
Advertisements - sales; public notices for example turnpikes; enclosure, etc; timetables.
Illustrations - " modern " such as the latest open top bus or " historic " such as "Peeps from the Past" features.
Note: Coverage found in 19th century newspapers will report articles in geater detail than their modern counterparts; varbatim reports of meetings, detailed extracts from society annual reports, etc. They can also be very politically biased.
There are indexes to exploit much of the information to be found. The index to village news is complete from 1770 to 1899 for all of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely villages but the detailed index to all Cambridgeshire items only covers the period 1770 - 1819.
Printed, single-sheet maps of Cambridgeshire from 1574 to present exist.
Accuracy and detail can vary greatly. For the maps before 1800 there is a detailed commentary in Old Plans of Cambridge by J.W.Clark and A. Gray . For the period 1800 to 1920 a list has been compiled indicating area of coverage, detail shown, etc., which suppliments the card indexes.
Plans of buildings, etc., wherever they appear are recorded in the "Plans" catalogue.
A comprehensive set of printed, single-sheet maps of Cambridgeshire from 1576 to present exist as well as plans of villages.
Accuracy and detail is generally not good before the 1830's with the practical use of the early maps being rather limited.
Some maps, on the other hand, do give an adequate indication of, for example, the state of undrained fenland plus many other details which can also be presented in map form, for example, geology, soil type, agricultural land utilisation, etc.,
Ordnance Survay Holdings include copies of maps of the 1:50,000 scale from 1836 to date and for scales as follows:
Holdings include over 22,000 separately catalogued and indexed illustrations as well as thousands of negatives which are listed though not individually catalogued; the Cambridge Antiquarian Society's "Photographic Record" is also currently lodged in the Collection. In total this amounts to around 70,000 pictures.
All types of illustrations are housed from drawings and paintings to postcards, photographs, transparencies and filmstrips.
Illustrations may be misleading or inaccurate, either by design - omitting "unimportant" detail, choosing particular angles for photographs or by mistake. This needs to be considered when visiting.
The followiing coverage is given:
Places : Cambridge views are arranged by street, building etc. Other settlements under their own name.
Subjects : All relevant subjects, for example, military scenes, stagecoaches, windmills, pumps, etc.
Events : Illustrations of everday life during World War II, Coronation Years, etc. in addition there are political and other cartoons.
Portraits : Principally of 19th century Cambridge worthies.
The collection comprises principally Victorian handbills, posters, playbills, etc. and their current equivalents issued since 1964.
Specific types of handbill held are playbills, political posters and addresses, public notices, Belman's verses, "Events" - circus, balloon ascents, etc.
Oral History Oral History
Tapes of open spool and cassette format are available containg talks, "original" interviews, descriptions of pictures, etc.