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Biological Sciences Libraries

Using the Library Space

All our libraries have different access policies and opening times. Please refer to the individual pages for details.








➤ Find


Any physical resources can be found by searching on IDiscover, the University of Cambridge Libraries catalogue. Filter by resource types or for the Libraries you wish to use. 

Many of our libraries have a dedicated computer you can use to access the iDiscover Calatogue, but you can also access the catalogue from your own computer, or even using your mobile phone.

See also: How to use IDiscover?



Reference Only Items

Many of our collections are made available to borrow. However, there will be certain items that cannot be removed, usually the valuable special collections and the print journals.

See also: Scan and Delivery service



Electronic Legal Deposit (eLD)

The electronic legal deposit books, journals and web content cannot be made available beyond the physical premises of Cambridge University Libraries under the terms of current legal deposit legislation.  This can only be changed by the government through new legislation. 

The SBS libraries with an eLD terminal available:

  • Plant Sciences
  • Psychology Library
  • Genetics Library 
  • Veterinary Library
  • Zoology Library


See also:

Information on how to use the eLD
E-Books and E-Legal: What’s the difference? (by SPS Library Blog)
Recommend resources not available in the University of Cambridge



Cambridge Students are automatically enrolled to borrow books from the University Library, Moore Library and Medical Library.

Click and Collect

A click and collect service for books is available from the Psychology, Zoology and Moore Libraries. Please see individual library pages for full details.


Check out the book

  • Self-issue terminal for borrowing books available at PDN, Psychology, Veterinary and Zoology libraries. Instructions are available by the physical terminal.
  • Paper sign-out sheets are available in the Cory and Herbarium, Plant Sciences and Genetics Libraries. Instructions are available in the libraries, please also log your loans using the online form.


Borrowing and Renewal rules

  • Loans are auto-renewed (excepted short loans)
  • Books can be recalled during your borrowing allowance. If so, return within 3 days or contact us here
  • You will receive a statement on the second day of every month which shows a snapshot of what items you have on your account
  • Books marked as "Special Reference" are overnight and weekend loans to be returned by 10 AM. No automatic renews will occur (send an email if you need to extend the period)
  • Automatic fines* will be charged for items recalled and not returned within three days, we are flexible about fines, contact us here if you need to justify your delayed item.
*If you are genuinely unable to return books because of illness or other circumstances beyond your control, please contact us here as soon as possible*.



Please, do return your borrowed book to the respective library in order for other users to have quick access to the resource. 

*If you need special arrangements, send an email to

The Moore Library and the Medical library drop-boxes accept books return from the SBS libraries.

Please note that books returned to the different libraries may take a short while to be removed from your account. You will receive no fines but you may receive automatic emails listing those items. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

See full information about the Cambridge library return options.