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Biological Sciences Libraries

Line of books

Need a book from the Library?

We are open to all current staff and students working or studying with the Department. If you have not previously borrowed a book from the PDN Library you may need to register your University Card with us in the instance. This can be done in person or by contacting us via email.


Searching for books

You should search for all your books across Cambridge using the iDiscover library catalogue. Choose ‘Physiology, Development and Neuroscience Library’ from the drop-down menu to limit to just our books, or use the filters on the right-hand side of the search results screen. iDiscover can be used to search for printed books and journals in most of the University's libraries, as well as ebooks, electronic journals and articles. It can be accessed via any computer or mobile device connected to the internet.


Visit our iDiscover quick guide for a visual overview of top functions or head over to our detailed written guide for the full functions of the platform.


Finding books in the Library

When searching iDiscover, make sure you note down the classmark and location of the book you are looking for so you can find it easily on the shelves. If the books says ‘available’ on iDiscover, then it should be on the shelves. If there is not availability information it might be that the book might be kept separately from the main library so please get in touch to ask for more information.

There are currently two main ‘locations’ within the PDN Library – ‘Main Library’ and ‘Lovaton Collection’. The Main Library can be found in the Physiology Building while the Lovaton Collection is located in the Anatomy Building and has restricted access. If you require a title housed in this collection, please get in touch via our email address.

We also have a dedicated Undergraduate Collection section in the entrance area to the PDN Library where we have put resources that are recommended on current reading lists for taught papers within PDN. Each item has a bright green dot on the spine and can be borrowed in the same way as any of our other books.

The Library’s modern collections use the alphabetical Library of Congress Classification scheme. Within the classmark, the letters refer to the subject of the books, and the numbers at the end usually indicate when it was published. More historical or specialised parts of the collection (including the Lovaton) use very specific classmarks but staff can help you navigate those as needed.


Borrowing books

All members of the Department are eligible to borrow from the Library, but your account needs setting up in order to do so. If you’re not sure if your account has been activated, please contact the Librarian.

You will find a dedicated computer in the main PDN Library where you can borrow books using your blue University card. If the computer, or your card, doesn't work please use our online borrowing form to let us know about books you have borrowed and they will then be placed onto your Library Account for you by the Librarian.

You can borrow up to 10 books at a time. All books will automatically renew unless requested by another user. If your books are requested, you will receive an email informing you of the new due date. You can check your current loans and due dates by logging into your Library Account on iDiscover. There are no fines for overdue books, but please ensure you return items promptly so they are available for other users.

If a book you want is out on loan, you can place a request for it in iDiscover. Please ensure you are logged into iDiscover or the request option will not appear. When the book has been returned and is ready for you to collect, you will receive an email.


Returning books

Please return books by either giving them to the Librarian during staffed hours or by putting them in the drop box by the Library entrance. The Librarian will then ensure the books are removed from your account as soon as possible.


Can’t find a book you need?

If the book should be on the shelves but you can't find it, please let us know so we can look for it and try to help you with other options in the meantime. If we don’t have a book you need for your course or your research, then place a book request and we will do our best to get it for you. If you need something else like a journal article, get in touch and we will explore your options with you.


Searching and Borrowing

Electronic Resources


Library Facilities

Building accessibility


Opening hours:

Mon-Thu 08:45 -12:30 & 13:30 -17:00
Friday 08:45 -12:30 & 13:30 -16:00



08:45 -13:15

(during term time)

Members of the Department with card access can use the Library outside of these core hours


Address The Library, 
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, 
Downing Street,
Telephone      01223 765604
Find us PDN Library map location