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Genetics Library - For visitors

Click here for an image of the Library as you enter the door, with a general explanation of where to find things

It is recommended that anyone intending to visit contacts us first on, as we may not necessarily hold an item we 'ought' to have, for various reasons

Who can use the Library

Anyone can use the library, whether they are a member of the University of Cambridge or not. However, you will need to show University of Cambridge ID at Reception to gain immediate admission. Non-Department-members do not need to 'join', but it is advisable to introduce yourself, and ask how to find the resources you need.

Non-members of the University must contact us first. You will need to fill out a form, which must be authorised by the Academic Librarian before you can use the Library. The form is available HERE.

It is always best to contact us before a visit, anyway, to check if we have what you are looking for. Study space is also rather limited.

There are a few computers in the Genetics Library, but Department-specific passwords are required, so Raven will not give you access. We do have one computer which will allow you to look up items on the library catalogue, and check your e-mails - please ask the librarian. Laptops may also be used, but you would normally need to be a member of the University, and have a Raven password, to gain access to the network. However, the Department is a participant in the EduRoam service, so you may prefer to use this for access if you are signed up.


The library is in the main Genetics building, which is on the Downing site >> See the searchable University map.  Visitors with limited mobility can access the building via a wheelchair lift, but it is advisable to read the Department access page.

Opening hours

Because access to the building is controlled at Reception, access to the Library is dependent on the main doors being open, and Reception being staffed. This is normally 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. However, the office is sometimes closed for part of the lunch period.

The Genetics Library is not always staffed, but if you need help you can e-mail, or if urgent ask Reception staff to contact the librarian.

Finding books

You will need to consult the catalogue - see links at right or click here - to find out if we actually have a book, and its classmark. Please do ask the librarian for help with finding books.

Finding journals

Unless you are a member of the Department, you will not be able to use the computers to access electronic journals whilst actually in the Genetics Library. We still have some of the major genetics journals as paper copies, and considerable back-runs. There is a list of journals held on the noticeboard on the wall of the library office, together with the volumes held, and their locations. The current year's issues are kept on the stand opposite the office, and previous years are located in the stacks. You will probably need help finding journals.

Borrowing rights, and how to borrow books

Members of the University may borrow books, and usually older copies of  journals. Others will probably be able to borrow books if they ask.

Books are borrowed by entering the details in the signing-out book, which is on the table opposite the library doors. Non-members of the Department must give their contact details in the [separate] address book. Please make sure that you entries are legible and that you give the correct and full class-mark of the book [on the spine and inside the front cover]. Books in the 'Reserve' collection, with red stickers, may not be borrowed under any circumstances.

There is no specified loan period, but you should aim to return the book with a month, and periodically loans are chased by e-mail.

Photocopying and printing

Unfortunately, since the computers are passworded, as a visitor you would not be able to access e-resources, download, or make prints from them. The photocopier operates on codes, and so a member of staff needs to be present for you to make copies.

Contact information

Postal address: Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA
E-mail :          Phone : 01223 333973 [But as Library is not always staffed, e-mail is preferable]
Librarian: Christine Alexander           Academic Librarian : Dr John Welch

Contact the Genetics Library

Please note the Genetics Library is CLOSED from April - October 2018

But you should still contact us by e-mail if you have a question or had planned a visit:

Phone: 01223 333973

Postal address:

Genetics Library
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3EH
United Kingdom

Librarian: Christine Alexander
Academic Librarian: Dr Cahir O'Kane


Search iDiscover for books, journals and research papers

E-journals listing

The A-Z e-journals listing in the E-resources LibGuide will explain exactly what we have access to