Clare College Cambridge

Forbes Mellon Library




8th January 2021: the Forbes Mellon Library and Law Reading Rooms are

temporarily closed until further notice.

Library staff are available to help with enquiries

For further information about College library services please see the Forbes Mellon Library Moodle site:

For zero-contact services from the University Library, faculty and departmental libraries please see



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,