College Libraries

Open 24-hours a day, the library is a large comfortable space with a wide ranging collection.

The library consists of:

  • The Bracken Library (floorplan) – science and social science collections, entrance on the ground floor of Wolfson Hall building with a spiral staircase leading to the Bracken Gallery.
  • The Bevin Library (floorplan) – arts and humanities collections, entrance on the first floor of Wolfson Hall building.
  • The Roskill Library – a library of political, military and scientific history, located in the Churchill Archives Centre

The College Library primarily provides resources to support undergraduate teaching, but is open to all College members. As well as books on Tripos reading lists, we have a range of special collections, including our Academic Skills Collection and Wellbeing Collection.

Opening Hours and Contact Details

The Bracken and Bevin Library reading rooms are open 24 hours a day, all year round to members of Churchill College. All visitors, including alumni, should contact the Librarian prior to their visit.

The Library office is open Monday-Friday, 9.00-12.30, 13.00-17.00 (occasionally reduced office hours during university vacations).

The Roskill Library in the Churchill Archives Centre is available to readers by appointment: please contact the Archives Centre or the Librarian.

College Librarian

Liz Pearton

Phone: 01223 336138

Follow on Twitter ChurLibrary

Exterior view of the College Library, with the Barbara Hepworth sculpture 'Four Square Walk Through' in the foreground..

Finding resources

Finding print books

Each book is given a classification number (or a “classmark”) according to its subject. This is a way to group books on similar topics together, and serves as a finding aid when you look up a book on the library catalogue (iDiscover). Churchill College uses the Dewey classification system. The classification guide and floorplans below show where specific subjects can be found in the Library. These are also displayed at the entrance of each reading room.

Classification Guide

Bracken Library Floorplan

Bevin Library Floorplan


Finding ebooks

The University has access to over 1.2 million ebooks off-campus and most are available through links in the iDiscover catalogue.

If you need a book and it is not already available electronically to you, please recommend an ebook for acquisition. If an ebook is available to purchase from the publisher, access can often be arranged very quickly.

More information and support for online resources can be found in the Cambridge ebooks LibGuide or email

Finding print journals

Current issues of general interest journals (e.g. Scientific American, Private Eye and Wired) are kept on display shelves on the ground floor of the Bracken Library, or in the Bevin Library. More specialist journals are given a classmark and are shelved in classmark sequence.

You can search for print journals on iDiscover using the filters or Advanced Search options to narrow down your search to journals. Journals are for reference use within the library reading rooms.


Finding online journals and databases

Over 130,000 ejournal titles and 400 databases are available off-campus. Simply search ‘Articles and online resources’ in the iDiscover catalogue, or download the LibKey Nomad browser extension which will direct you to full text articles when these are available from Cambridge University Libraries.

More information and support for online resources can be found on the E-resources home page or email


Search the iDiscover catalogue

Guide to searching iDiscover

Borrowing from the Library

The Library operates a self-service borrowing system using your University card. Loan stations are situated in the foyers of the Bracken Library and the Bevin Library.

Every book or DVD taken out of the Library must be registered as a loan. You remain responsible for any library item on your account, even if you lend it to another student. Journals, and books marked ‘Reference’ (green tape on the spines) may not leave the Library.


Borrowing allowance

Undergraduates may borrow up to 10 items at any one time; Advanced Students, Fellows and staff may borrow up to 20 items.


Automatic renewals

Loans will automatically renew, so you can keep books and DVDs for as long as you need, provided they are not requested by another reader. Loans will ultimately be due back when you graduate or leave the College.


Returning books

When you have finished using an item, or if it has been requested by another reader, please place it in one of the book return boxes in the foyer of the Bracken or Bevin Libraries.

Click and Collect

The Library team offer a Click & Collect service – just email the details of the book(s) you wish to borrow, and Library staff will deliver to your pigeon hole the same or next working day.


Requesting books on loan to other readers

If you need an item that is out on loan to another reader, you can place a request through iDiscover. This feature is available during term times only. During the University vacations, if you need a book which is on loan please email and we will do our best to source another copy.


Email notifications

Once a month, you will receive an email statement showing which items you have on loan across all University of Cambridge Libraries. If you no longer need a book, please bring it back to the library. You will also receive an email if someone requests a book that you have borrowed, in which case you will be asked to return the item within 3 working days (not including vacations).

Video guides

Searching iDiscover


College Library induction

Using eBooks

Disability support and access

We are keen to ensure that the College Library meets your individual needs. Please come and talk to us if we can help at any time. We arrange tours of the library for all new students in October, however, we are always happy to meet you one-to-one to discuss any access needs and offer a personalised introduction to the library.

Disabled access

There is step-free access to the Bracken Library reading room. The Wolfson Hall toilets are also located on the ground floor. The nearest wheelchair accessible toilet is on the main concourse.

We regret that there is no wheelchair disabled access to the Bracken Library Gallery or the Bevin Library. If you need help accessing a resource in one of these areas, please contact the Library team.

The bookshelves in the library are tall, and the higher shelves are reached with the aid of kick-stools. If you have any difficulty accessing the shelves, please let us know as we can fetch books for you.

Bracken Library floorplan

Bevin Library floorplan


Ergonomic Aids

There is an adjustable workstation in the Lloyds Computer Room, which can be raised to a standing height.

Book stands, laptop stands and reading lecterns are available at the entrance to each reading room, also blankets and stress balls (to alleviate study stress and hand strain from extended typing). We also have a small number of LED desk lamps with adjustable colour-spectrum and light intensity. Ergonomic aids can be used anywhere within the library reading rooms. Please do not remove them from the library.


Cambridge Libraries Accessibility Service

The Libraries Accessibility Service is based at the University Library and works across the Cambridge library network to ensure that library users have equal access to services and resources regardless of their accessibility needs.

Email the Libraries Accessibility Service

Library rules

We thank you for helping us to keep the library a pleasant, comfortable, and safe space for all College members. To this end:

  • Food may not be taken into the reading rooms. Drinks are welcome in the library so long as they are in sealable containers, kept sealed when not in use and taken away with you when you leave the Library.
  • Place rubbish in the bins provided.
  • Please be considerate of other library users, and take your belongings with you when leaving the library for more than a short break. For most of the year, white “please leave” slips are available on desks, and books and files can be left in a tidy pile with a completed “please leave slip” at the side of the desk (so someone else could use the space) for up to three days.
  • During Easter Term (the busiest term) white “please leave” slips will not be available, and all belongings must be removed when leaving for more than a short break. The Librarian will email all students at the start of Easter Term with a reminder of this policy.
  • Smoking, e-cigarettes and vaping are not permitted anywhere in the Library.
  • Mobile phones should be turned off or switched to silent before being taken into either of the Reading Rooms.
  • Laptops can be used but if you connect your laptop to the mains supply, a valid safety test sticker must be clearly visible on your computer. Please contact the College Maintenance Department to have your computer tested if this has not already been done: this must be repeated annually. If your laptop is connected to the mains supply, make sure that the cable is not a trip hazard.

Collection and donation policies

The Library’s holdings are developed and maintained following established Collection Policies.

Churchill College Library Collection Policy – February 2022

Churchill College Library Donations Policy – February 2022

Special collections

Special collections

Other resources available in the library

Other library resources

Book recommendation form

Request new books