The Virtual Library

Our virtual library helpdesk is open to all members of Newnham.

Library staff are available to help members of College with all enquiries 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm Monday to Friday. Just email if you need help finding resources for your studies or would like any other library or reading-related advice.

The University Library has compiled a guide to accessing electronic resources remotely. This is a great starting point for finding and using the ever-expanding e-resources of the University’s libraries.

Finding ebooks

Search for ebooks on iDiscover by typing keywords into the search box and selecting ‘ebooks’ from the dropdown menu. The results will appear with a green link to ‘Online access’. If you are logged in to iDiscover, this link should take you straight to the resource. If not, you may need to enter your Raven details to access the ebook. This video will show you have to find and use ebooks. For more information, visit the ebooks LibGuide.

Finding articles and journals online

Search for articles or journals on iDiscover by selecting the ‘Articles and online resources’ radio button and typing keywords into the search box. When the results appear, you can set filters on the right of the screen to limit your selection to ‘Full text online’ under Availability, or to ‘article’ or ‘journal’ under Resource Type.

Lean Library

This is a browser extension that will allow you to skip log-in steps if you are searching for articles in different databases (such as Google Scholar or PubMed). It will detect when you have access to an online resource via a Cambridge University Libraries subscription. Find out more here. LibKey Nomad is a new browser extension that complements Lean Library and will link you to full text articles wherever you are.

Requests for ebooks and other online resources

If the book you require is not available online, you can request its purchase as an ebook. You can do this by emailing OR by completing the UL book recommendation form:

The ebooks team are working very hard and have asked us to avoid duplicating requests, so please only use one of the options above.

If you’re having trouble tracking down an e-journal article, email and we’ll try to find it for you!

Study skills: reading on screens

We are all reading online much more than ever before, and becoming increasingly reliant on electronic materials. The Reading on screens LibGuide features advice on how to make reading on screens easier, including alternative formats, accessibility features, and note-taking, as well as how to navigate different ebook formats and platforms.

Readers with disabilities

The University Library will prioritise services to support readers with disabilities. If you are a library user with a disability and have an enquiry or request, you can use the fast-track email to request resources in an accessible format. You can also use the SensusAccess tool to create an alternative format document.


Returning students should bring their books back when they come back to College. Books will keep renewing automatically unless they have been asked for by someone else. If a book on your account is recalled, please return it through the College Library book drops if you can and if it is safe for you to do so. If you can’t return the book just email us so that we can make other arrangements. You won’t be charged fines on any book that you have borrowed. If you do have any concerns about your loans, please email so we can help you.

Students who have finished their course may return them by post to:

Newnham College Library
Newnham College

If you have any problems or concerns about returning books, email

Virtual tour

If you want to re-visit the College Library and remind yourself of its study spaces, do have a go on this virtual tour.

Social Media

We post regular updates on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us or drop by for tips, quizzes, links to new resources, and beautiful photos of the Library!