Finding resources for study

Here are some pointers to useful resources within Newnham College Library and across the University. Our Library Guide contains more information about Newnham College Library facilities and finding books in the library. Pick up a copy from the Library office or at the catalogue terminals. You can find more information about study skills, resources, and databases available across the University through Cambridge Libguides.

Searching the catalogue

You can search for books and electronic resources available within Newnham College Library and across the University using iDiscover.

iDiscover is a catalogue which allows you to search all the Cambridge libraries’ print and electronic resources in one place.

You can limit your search to a specific library and select ‘Newnham College’ from a drop-down menu, or by using Advanced Search.

Advanced Search will improve the precision of your results, and works best if you specify a library, a title, and an author. Searches can also be refined by subject, publication date, or resource type.

iDiscover allows you to save results and create citations in a number of standard formats. Use the iDiscover Libguide for information about this search and discovery service.

There are two catalogue enquiry terminals on the ground floor of the library, which give dedicated access to iDiscover.

Finding e-resources

All e-resources and e-books are searchable on iDiscover.

There is a Cambridge e-books LibGuide for more information about finding and using e-books.

A great place to start exploring electronic resources is the Cambridge LibGuide for e-resources and e-journals. There are separate LibGuides for accessing newspapers, theses and audio-visual resources.

You can also explore the Cambridge Digital Library to view some of the University’s rare books and other treasures of the collection online.

You may be prompted for your Raven login and password if you are accessing e-resources off-site.

New books

Members of College are encouraged to recommend books which would enhance our collection.

You can also recommend books to the UL.

We produce a monthly list of new accessions to showcase additions to our collection.


Newnham College Library staff are always ready to help you make the most of Cambridge libraries – email the Librarian for more information about the training sessions we can offer you.


You can find all the essentials for settling in to Cambridge on CamGuides.

In addition, the University of Cambridge training site has a central booking system for a variety of courses on study skills and software packages.

Assistive equipment

  • Book rests
  • Adjustable desk lamps
  • Magnifying sheets
  • Blue paper for printing

Please let us know if you have any other recommendations of assistive equipment that would help you or other students and we’ll do our best to provide it.

Assistive software


This service allows students and staff at Cambridge to create alternative document formats . It allows anyone with a University of Cambridge email address to upload documents in a variety of formats (e.g. pdf, png, jpeg) and have those documents quickly converted to alternative and accessible formats, in a range of languages. Please ask a member of library staff for more information.

RNIB Bookshare

Students with a qualifying print disability may be eligible for access to the RNIB Bookshare service. Please contact the College Librarian for further information.


Please contact the Librarian if you require ebooks, audio books, or books in different formats.

Shelf help

You’ll find a collection of ‘shelf help’ books – anything from how to fix your bike, to study skills, to social anxiety, to guides to relaxation and stress reduction – on the shelves to the left of the Horner Markwick as you enter the library. They all begin with the classmark 070.

You can borrow these books as normal, either from a member of staff at the front desk or through the self-issue terminals in the Library lobby. Some books do not need to be borrowed at all if you would rather not add them to your library account. They will have a sticker on the front cover with the following text:

You do not need to charge this book to your account.

If you prefer, you can just borrow the book without recording the loan and return it through the anonymous book drops when you have finished.


Please let us know if you have any suggestions for other welfare books. If you would like your suggestion to be anonymous, please just put ‘welfare request’ in the *Name and *Email part of the Newnham College Library online recommendation form or fill in one of the recommendation forms in a box opposite the catalogue PCs in the Horner Markwick entrance, leaving out your name and contact details and post your slip into the secure ‘manual loans’ box in the Library lobby.