Clare College Cambridge

Forbes Mellon Library




Update 21.07.2021

The Forbes Mellon Library continues to operate library services for all members of College over summer vacation 2021, and we continue to adhere to College policies and follow University and government guidance.  We recommend that library users wear a face covering at all times in the Library, for the safety of other library users and library staff.  We are retaining COVID protocols including hand sanitisation, social distancing (1m+) and ventilation, and we will continue to review risk assessments and protocols on a regular basis. Study spaces in the Forbes Mellon Library should be pre-booked via the Forbes Mellon Library Moodle site  Further details of services and guidance for use of the Library are also available on this Moodle site. Library staff will be on duty in the Library over the summer vacation and welcome enquiries from all members of Clare College:

 Services for summer vacation 2021 include an enquiry service (in-person/phone/email/online), provision of study spaces and shared MCS computers. Members of College are welcome to borrow library books via self-service Browsing to Borrow (call into the Library, no appointment required) and Request to Collect (email to 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

 Opening hours: Monday 12th July to Sunday 3rd October 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday

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 extensive library provision within the University, complementing both the specialist libraries in faculties and departments and Cambridge University Library.

The Forbes Mellon holds about 30,000 books, 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. Multiple copies of many essential texts are available. Library staff welcome recommendations from members of Clare College for book purchases, via email to or our Book Recommendation Form