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Guide to Shelfmarks and Finding Materials

The Library mainly uses Library of Congress Classification for shelfmarks (eg DT63 for Pyramids, ND497 for British artists). For exhibition catalogues, the shelfmark is City.Year, so a catalogue of an exhibition held in New York in 2007 will have the shelfmark New York.2007. For any exhibition held in London, the shelfmark is Institution.Year, (eg Tate Modern.2015, British Museum.1992).

Sales and dealers’ catalogues are shelved in alphabetical order by the dealer’s name. The majority of sales catalogues, particularly Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillip’s catalogues, are still being retrospectively added to the online catalogue, so please contact the Library even if you don’t see the catalogue you’re looking for, as it may be available.

For numismatics catalogues, check the Department of Coins & Medals Catalogue here.

A shelfmark of “Reserved” means that the item is held in the Founders’ Library. For information on how to access this material, visit here.

A location of “Hamilton Kerr Institute” and/or a shelfmark with the code (HKI) means that the book is held at the Hamilton Kerr Institute. Most books can be fetched to the Reference Library within 3-5 working days so please allow enough notice for your request. Reference materials, student projects and congress reports cannot be fetched and will need to be consulted at the Institute; contact the Library Assistant to arrange an appointment.

When requesting materials for your appointment, please state clearly the title, author, and classmark, and in the case of dealers’ catalogues, the date of the sale.


Photocopying and Photography

The library has a coin-operated colour photocopier (there is no scanning facility available). Readers are also welcome to register to take photographs of the materials on smartphones or tablets, subject to copyright law. Readers are not permitted to take photos of the library environment or staff.


Wi-Fi Access

Cambridge University staff and students have access to Wi-Fi in the library through Uni of Cam. Visitors from other academic institutions are able to access Wi-Fi through Eduroam (this needs to be set up in advance at your home institution).