Clare College Cambridge

Forbes Mellon Library




12th April 2021


The Library provides services to students based in College and to students studying remotely. Library users are asked to continue to use electronic resources and non-contact library services where possible and to follow the guidelines for safe use of the College Library and other study rooms in College at all times. These guidelines are provided on the Forbes Mellon Library Moodle site, along with more details of library services.


College Library services for Easter vacation and Easter Term 2021 include an email/online enquiry service, provision of a limited number of study spaces, access to two MCS computers and borrowing library books via Browsing to Borrow and Request to Collect. The College Library continues to provide services to students working remotely, including supporting access to electronic resources and where possible lending College Library books via a postal service within the UK.


The University Library and Faculty/Departmental libraries continue to offer a range of in-person and remote services. For more details please see and webpages for the individual libraries.



The Forbes Mellon Library was opened in 1986 and is named after two major benefactors, Mansfield Forbes, a fomer Fellow, and Paul Mellon, an undergraduate at Clare, 1929-1931. It is situated in Memorial Court in a building of considerable architectural interest designed by Sir Philip Dowson.  The building also houses a student common room, three music practice rooms, and a recital/lecture room.

The library is open to all members of Clare College currently in residence, and, in common with other college libraries, forms part of the tripartite library provision within the University, complementing both the specialist libraries found in faculties and departments and the Cambridge University Library.

The Forbes Mellon holds about 30,000 books. They are arranged in subject order within the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme. Although the stock is primarily that required by undergraduates, many postgraduate texts are kept, together with general reference works, Tripos papers, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. Multiple copies of many essential texts are available. Requests for the library to purchase books should be entered in the Book Recommendation Form on the College website,