skip to primary navigation skip to content

Visiting the library

Visiting the library

From Monday 26th April, members of SPRI will be able to book a space to study and browse the shelves in the library for limited weekday morning or afternoon slots. Spaces must be reserved online in advance.

All members of the University of Cambridge may request scans of Polar Library material using the Scan and Deliver form, and members of SPRI can collect books using our zero-contact borrowing service. Please email us your requests.

Many Polar Library resources are available online and we will continue to answer remote research enquiries as best we can.

Who can use the library?

The library is open to all students and staff of the University of Cambridge, the wider polar community and anybody wishing to know more about the polar regions.

You do not need to book an appointment, though it is helpful to know in advance if you need help searching for specific material or would like to consult our Special Collections. Please sign in at Reception before each visit to the library unless you have access to the library activated on your University of Cambridge card.

For academic visitors planning a longer stay, please write in the first instance to the Director of SPRI to apply for Visiting Scholar status.

Opening hours

The library is open from 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:30, Monday – Friday.

We are closed in the period between Christmas and New Year and on bank holidays.


Step-free access into the Institute is available using the entrance at the side of the building next to the car park. There is lift access to library space on the first and second floors of the building. We will always consider ways that we can best serve any library user so please contact us if you have any special requirements or about how we can make your visit more enjoyable.