Robert Wodelarke founded St Catharine’s with a library of 84 manuscripts and three printed books. Today, the collection has grown to 65,000 volumes, split over three locations, serving the needs of students, Fellows, staff and researchers.
The 18th-century Sherlock Library, located above Hall on E Staircase, contains the College's books on modern and medieval languages (including linguistics), English literature, art and architecture, and cinema and theatre studies.
The Shakeshaft Library, in Chapel Court, contains the rest of our working collection. All items may be borrowed by current members of the College.
The College's 10,000 volumes of older material include early printed books and manuscripts, the library of John Addenbrooke, the Smith collection of Darwinalia, and an unrivalled set of early printed plays by James Shirley. These may be consulted by prior arrangement with the Librarian.
Library staff are based in the Shakeshaft Library. The Librarian, Dr Colin Higgins, can be contacted using the details found at the bottom of this page.
Use the box below to search our working collections. You can use the fuller search page for more search options, or to view PDFs of our catalogues of manuscripts and early-printed books.