Cambridge University Library: Diaries

Scope and Content

Editions of Letts's diary and almanac containing short entries concerning Cambridge University Library affairs.

MS.Add.7808: H.G. Aldis, library diary, 1901, with a list of members of the Library Syndicate at the end.

MS.Add.7809: H.G. Aldis, library diary, 1916, accompanied by loose diary pages of 1915.

MS.Add.7810: H.G. Aldis, library diary, 1918.

MS.Add.7811: Library diary, 1922, probably kept by W.F. Cuthbertson.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first home of Cambridge 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. It 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.

Harry Gidney Aldis (1863-1911) and William Fergusson Cuthbertson were Secretaries of Cambridge University Library.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Found in the Cambridge University Library Music Room, 1970.

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

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