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Using the Library

The Squire Law Library is open to all current staff and student members of the University of Cambridge, as well as members of affiliated institutions. Please see the library homepage for further details of opening hours. Arrangements regarding the use of the Squire Law Library have been devised in the light of relevant guidance issued by the University and by the UK Government. Should Government or University guidance change in a relevant respect, the arrangements for the use of the library will be amended accordingly.

The Squire Law Library welcomes all readers and is fully committed to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture and values diversity.

Library enquiries

The library has a reputation for providing a friendly and informative reference service to all students. If you have any comments or questions please contact us by e-mail: squire@law.cam.ac.uk. Alternatively, a member of the team can be contacted via the Live Chat facility on the library homepage from 09:00-17:00, Monday - Fridays. Outside of these hours it's possible to leave a message and we'll reply as soon as possible.

Electronic resources

The University of Cambridge has access to over 1.5 million ebooks and thousands of ejournals from a wide variety of publishers and platforms.Most e-books are listed in iDiscover, the library catalogue, and can be accessed using your Raven password. The Squire Law Library also makes available over 40 electronic legal databases, including LexisLibrary, Westlaw UK and HeinOnline. These and other online databases offer access to legislation, case law, journal articles and additional ebooks.

You will find that many of the key reading materials for your course are made available via Moodle, the Virtual Learning Environment. If you're unable to locate a book, case or journal article please do contact the Squire library team.

Print collections

The Squire Law Library is primarily a reference library and holds approximately 190,000 volumes, including primary sources of law and a comprehensive range of secondary legal materials. The library maintains strong collections for the jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland, as well as extensive research materials. Traditionally the library has also had strengths in public international law, comparative law, the European Union, English legal history, Roman law and jurisprudence. An overview of the resources and research support available can be found in the Law LibGuide.

The vast majority of the Library’s print collections are available on open access. You can request items that are kept in storage in advance of your visit by contacting the Squire team. The collections kept on closed access include the antiquarian legal history material held in the Maitland Legal History Room, legal biographies and old editions of prominent legal texts which are kept in storage in the basement floors of the David Williams Building.

Course reserve collections for LLM and MCL students

The LLM and MCL course reserve collection is reserved for Cambridge LLM and MCL students and reflects these needs of these taught courses. This collection contains print volumes of key texts and is located in the first two bays on the first floor. LLM and MCL students can borrow 10 books at a time from the library. Please use the Click and Collect service or browse and borrow. All book loans automatically renew unless the book is requested by another library user. Students can also borrow from the main University Library and it also often possible to register to use other department and faculty libraries.

If you are experience any difficulties in locating books from the course reserve collection, or would like to recommend an addition to the collection, please contact the LLM and MCL Collections supervisor: Lizz Edwards-Waller (ew257@cam.ac.uk) in the first instance. 

Moodle

The virtual learning environment, Moodle, allows for materials such as handouts, reading lists and some journal articles and book chapters to be made available for students to access. Please do get in contact with Lizz if you are unable to find core readings on Moodle as we can normally make these available, within copyright limits.

Library support for PhD research students

Two designated areas are available for exclusive use by PhD students for the purposes of research:

  • PhD Study Room (Room T11): Situated on the third floor, with unreserved study spaces for 12 students. Entry to the room is swipe card controlled for the purposes of security.
  • Bookable Desk Spaces: 26 bookable desk spaces are located on the open-plan second floor area. 

In addition, for those PhD students with a specific interest in legal history, the Maitland Legal History Room located on the first floor is an important research facility and has 5 reading spaces. This room is also used by academic staff, visitors and other researchers with an interest in legal history. In order to access this room, please ask at the Enquiry Desk.

Research support for PhD students

The Library subscribes to a wide range of electronic services across most subject areas. This portfolio of services includes electronic databases, digital services, e-journals and a growing array of e-books. These services complement the printed collections located across the three floors of the library.

Reference Librarians are also available, by appointment, for specialised legal research assistance. For matters relating to the Anglo-American collections and English legal history, please contact Kate Faulkner (kef39@cam.ac.uk); for assistance with comparative, foreign or international law, please contact Lesley Dingle (lmd25@cam.ac.uk).