Clare College Cambridge

Forbes Mellon Library




Vacation opening hours

Forbes Mellon Library, Turpin and Lipstein Law Reading Rooms

Sat 18th June 8am to 5pm

Sun 19th June 8am to 5pm

Monday 20th June to Friday 30th September 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday

(closed weekends, and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August)


Further details of library services, resources and support are available for all members of College on the Forbes Mellon Library Moodle site. Library staff welcome enquiries in the Library and via email to 

Members of College are welcome to borrow library books via self-service Browsing to Borrow and via Request to Collect (email to We also provide support for accessing the wide range of electronic resources available to members of the University (including ebooks and ejournals).

We also provide an enquiry service (in-person/phone/email/online), provision of study spaces (no booking required), shared MCS (Managed Cluster Service) computers and printing services. We support academic skills development via informal small-group and 1:1 sessions, digital/in-person drop-ins, and resources on the Library Moodle site.

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

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 subject specialist libraries in faculties and departments and Cambridge University Library.

The Forbes Mellon holds about 30,000 books. Although the stock is primarily that required by undergraduates, many postgraduate texts are provided, 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