Cambridge University Library: Visitors' Book

Scope and Content

Cambridge University Library, visitors' book, 476 folios. The book contains the signatures of recipients of honorary degrees and of other distinguished visitors to the University Library, beginning August 1895. Among the signatures are: (p. 13) Edward R&I, Alexandra, Victoria; (p. 39) Victoria Princess Louis of Battenberg, Louis of Battenberg; (p. 49) Arthur James Balfour; (p. 51) Haig, Jellicoe; (p. 53) Charles M. Doughty; D. Lloyd George, A. Bonar Law, Austen Chamberlain; (p. 55) J.J. Thomson, G.W. Balfour; (p. 59) Cosmo Ebor; (p. 63) Hirohito; (p. 65) Edward P; (p. 73) Albert; (pp. 87 and 131) Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia; (p. 125) Neville Chamberlain; (p. 127) George RI, Mary R; (p. 129) Marie, Queen of Yugoslavia; (p. 137) Farouk R; (p. 221) Princess Margaret.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first home of the University Library was at the buildings now known as the 'Old Schools', developed during the fifteenth century. In its early years the Library was under the superintendence of the University Chaplain; the first librarian was appointed in 1577, and the first regulations for the Library's administration were drawn up five years later. Until the bequest of Tobias Rustat in 1666, the Library had no income for purchasing books, relying instead on gifts and bequests. The Library was granted the right to claim a copy of every work published in the United Kingdomby the Licensing Acts of 1662-1679 and 1685-1695, and by the Copyright Act of 1709 and successive Acts, although this privilege was not fully exploited until the nineteenth century. The Library moved to the present building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, in 1934.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Kept and signed in the Library.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue. Further details about the volume are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.