Clare College Cambridge

Using the Forbes Mellon Library


Opening hours:


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


How to find a book:

  • Search the catalogue for the University libraries,  iDiscover ,to check if a book is in stock.
  • The record will show the classmark and will also show whether the book is available to borrow.
  • The Library floor-plan above the self-service borrowing terminal will show you where the books with this classmark are located.

 Borrowing and returning:

  • All books can be borrowed except those marked not for loan or reference only.
  • Students can borrow up to 20 items (books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks).
  • The initial loan period is 1 week for undergraduates and 28 days for postgraduates.
  • After this the loan will continue to automatically renew unless the item has been requested by another student.

How to borrow:

  • Use the self-service borrowing terminal next to the main enquiry desk.
  • Scan the barcode number on your University card to display your reader record.
  • Place the item(s) you wish to borrow on the glass plate.
  • The loan(s) will register on your Library record.  
  • If you have any problems borrowing books via the self-service borrowing terminal please speak to a member of library staff.

What to do if you have lost your University card:

Requests for replacement University cards should now be ordered online. Please see the Porters section on the Clare website or follow the link

How to return:

  • Return books by putting them in one of the two book return boxes or return them to a member of staff.
  • There is a book return box inside the library building at the foot of the Bennett Room stairs, off the library foyer. There also a return box outside the building, beneath the library office window.

NB: Please do not return borrowed books to the trolleys in the library or to the shelves.

Lost books:

  • If you think that you may have lost a book, please speak to a member of Library staff so that we can look out for it as well. If you are certain that a book is lost then we will charge a replacement fee.

NB: If for any reason you are unable to renew or return your books please email the Library and library staff will help.

Recalling a book that is on loan:

  • This can be done from iDiscover
  • On its return you will be notified by email.
  • Please then collect from the library office within 4 days.

How to suggest a purchase:

  • We welcome recommendations for book purchases from students.
  • If we do not have a book that you need please fill in a Book Recommendation Form online


Privacy Statement:

Privacy Statement for  non-Cambridge staff/students and members of the public, who are users of the Forbes Mellon Library.  For members of the College please see Data Protection section of the College website for further information on how the College holds and processes your information.