Library services to support your studies, and information services to help you get the most out of Cambridge, are described below.

Other services at Sidney

Comb binding

We provide a comb-binding service for your assignments, dissertations, notes etc. Covers are clear plastic on the front, with blue or black leathergrain card on the back, and spine sizes are up to 330 sheets typical (80gsm) A4 paper.

All spine combs are black. If you particularly need other colours, or you have special structural requirements such as fold-out map pages, please let us know in advance.

Cost is £1.00 up to 100 pages, £2.00 up to 200 pages and £3.00 for over 200 pages (using 2 covers and 1 spine). You may pay by cash, or via your College bill, whichever you prefer. To get something bound, simply arrange to bring the pages to the Library Office during staffed hours and we'll do it as soon as we can.

The binding process can usually be completed in a few minutes. If you intend to get the binding done very close to any physical  submission deadline, however, it might be best to book a specific date and time for the binding.

If you have any questions about this service, please don't hesitate to contact the Library staff.

The service is available only to members of Sidney Sussex College.

Medical and Natural Sciences resources

We have a battered old real skeleton (in a cupboard): ask the Librarian for the keys. There's a smart artificial skeleton (Nigel) on a stand, with a brain and a larynx nearby. Sets of medical flash cards are available from the Library Office, along with molecular and crystal model kits.


The Library contains two of the College's multi-function printer / scanner / photocopier units, one in the Computer Suite, and one beside the Library Office. There are also paper trimmers, hole-punches and staplers, all near the entrance area on the ground floor. Please ask at the Library Office if you require anything else - the odd bit of graph paper; treasury tags; rubber bands; paper clips and so on.

Alternative study spaces

Alternative study spaces at Sidney

Seminar rooms can be booked, on a same-day basis only, at the Conference Office in Garden Court. These could be an excellent additional facility as long as you make sure that you vacate them on time if asked to do so, and leave them in perfect condition. We could not continue to offer these rooms as group study spaces if supervisors (who are the main users) were to find their work hampered by other users.

The Conference Office is not staffed at the weekend, so you can make seminar room bookings for Saturday / Sunday on a Friday. If you have booked such a room, but know you are not going to use it, please email the Conference Office during the week, or the Porters at the weekend, so that the room can be made available for someone else.

The Sidney Bar is also available during the day as a more relaxed and sociable study venue. It may also be used for e.g. Yoga at certain times. Bar Timetable

During Easter term the Knox-Shaw Room is normally available for quiet study, and the Mong Hall for quiet study / exam practice. At those venues, and at other places around College, you will find detailed availability timetables for the current and coming week.

During Easter term 2024, the Knox-Shaw Room will be available as a study space only until Sunday 19th May.

Our aim is to limit any extraneous bookings as much as possible, so that you can be confident of finding the room available to you on a regular pattern. Some events, which could not be re-located elsewhere, will still be held there: on such occasions, it will be necessary to clear the venue. To help you plan your studies in advance, pdf timetables are made available. Revisions will be advised by email and incorporated in a new edition of the timetable:

Easter Term 2024 Study Space Timetable Version 2 (pdf, 241KB)

There are opportunities to do exam practice in both mornings and afternoons. Full details of days and times are available on the timetables.

Everybody’s co-operation will ensure that the periods of exam practice are respected, so that everybody has the opportunity to practise whole papers or sections of papers under relatively realistic exam conditions: so no laptops, no talking, no walking in and out, and if you only intend to take or practise part of an exam, please sit so as not to disturb your fellow students who are in it for the long haul.

Please note that if you intend to study silently under scrupulous exam conditions, you can use the Mong Hall at exam practice times regardless of whether you actually have a past paper in front of you.

Alternative study spaces at the University

If none of the Sidney-based options quite meet your needs, you could consult the University Library's "Spacefinder" resource. This resource is being revised for use during the pandemic.

There are many faculty and department libraries which normally admit all members of the University, regardless of the subject of their study or research. Study in other College libraries, however, is only allowed (for example, in order to consult a specific book not available for borrowing) with the permission in advance of that College's librarian. Such permission is unlikely to be granted in Easter term.

Using other libraries

Other libraries in Cambridge

Details and contacts for all the libraries associated with the University are to be found in the Cambridge Libraries Directory and the Map of Libraries.

All University members may use their own College Library and Faculty/Departmental Library, as well as the University Library. Using the University's iDiscover catalogue it is possible to locate materials held by other libraries in Cambridge. Students must, however, apply to these other libraries individually to arrange to use the materials, as each library has its own rules. Joining one Cambridge library does not automatically make you a member of all of them. In particular, students may not visit another College library unless they have permission to do so in advance from that College's librarian. You will not normally be allowed to borrow material from any other college library, but may be permitted to consult works under supervision, and / or make photocopies within normal legal limits.

Cambridge University Library

The University Library provides access to a vast array of resources. It is a legal deposit library, meaning that it is entitled to claim a copy of every publication in printed form published in the UK and Ireland. It also holds many books published outside that area, journals, maps, photographs and music and has extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and other materials. In addition it subscribes, and provides access, to a vast array of electronic resources for all members of the University.

Libraries beyond Cambridge

As an Undergraduate, if you would like to use another university library, in or near your home town, you should first consult the SCONUL Access web page to see which libraries you are eligible to use, and to make an application for year-round access. The University of Cambridge is a "Band R member of SCONUL" from March 2022.

The application process via that page should give you all the information you need, but if anything is not clear, do please ask.

Unfortunately, if you are a Postgraduate, you are eligible only for the Summer Vacation Access Scheme. If this should change, updated details will be posted here.

Remember that your local public library should have access to a fully-fledged inter-library loan service, including academic titles, even if it has hardly any such titles on the shelves. The larger the library, the more likely they are to be familiar with the service, and there will almost certainly be a charge per request. Do consult us if you are thinking of making such requests, as we may just possibly still be able to help you, even if you are far from Cambridge.

University of Cambridge Careers Service

The Careers Service is impartial and can work with you from day one to explore options, connect with employers and navigate the complex job market – saving you time and maximising your employability prospects.

Whether you have no idea what to do next, a few ideas or a definite plan, they offer plenty to help you take the next step: one-to-one guidance consultations; 14 major careers events each year; an extensive programme of briefings and skill sessions; coordinated employer presentations; a free book on CVs and Applications; and a database of over 4,000 graduate-level job vacancies.

Reference management

Further information

Information on the reference styles applicable to each department can be found in the Cambridge LibGuides.

The Sidney Sussex College Librarian can also help you get started if you would like to use a reference management programme (eg EndNote, Mendeley) in your work.

Cite them right online (via University subscription)

University resources
Automatic break reminder recommended by University Occupational Health Service

Workrave: A programme which encourages you to take micropauses and rest breaks.