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Department of Computer Science and Technology

The department



Library photograph

The Laboratory houses a specialist library, which was started soon after the Laboratory's foundation in 1937, and therefore has material from the early days of digital computing right up to the present time. The collection currently includes about 4,500 books (including conference proceedings and theses), 100 current periodical titles, and 14,000 technical reports. There is also a reference section and course books from the current undergraduate readling lists.

The library principally serves both staff and students in the department, although other members of the university may use the library for reference purposes on application to the librarian. These pages provide an introduction to the services offered and links to other useful resources:

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The Computer Laboratory library is now closed to users due a shortage of space within the department. In future, library services for computer scientists will be provided by the School of Technology libraries team. More information on the closure is available. Many of the coronavirus resources are still available.

Recent news

A subscription to the O'Reilly for Higher Education package is now available. This provides access to a significant number of e-book titles, including many titles on the undergraduate reading list, and the famous O'Reilly computing books. The subscription is for a year in the first instance, and continuation beyond that will be dependant on usage and the availability of funding.

Trial access has been arranged to Engineering Village which offers the Inspec, Inspec Analytics and Compendex databases. These are potentially useful information sources in Engineering and related disciplines, including some areas of Computer Science. Some resources are available to help interested users. Anyone who finds this useful may give feedback online, or by contacting the librarian. The trial will run until 11 June 2021.

All users of British Standards Online should note that from February 2021 a browser plug-in will be required to view documents from British Standards Online. Please see these instructions to find out how to install this.

An induction page has been created to help new students better understand the library system within Cambridge.

The Cambridge Libraries Survey is now open. All library users are invited to give their views on the library services within the University by completing this survey. The survey should take no longer than ten minutes of your time. Further information about the survey, how the results will be used and how privacy will be handled is also available. The survey will close on Tuesday 3rd March

The new version of the undergraduate reading list, covering parts 1A, 1B and 2, for the academic year 2019-20 is now available. A copy in PDF format is available. All recommended texts are available in the ‘booklocker’ and may be found by searching the catalogue. Please contact the librarian for more information.

An updated version of the reading list for the M.Phil course, covering the academic year 2019-20, is now available. Like the similar document for the undergraduate courses, it is aimed at those purchasing books. More details of the suitability of various books will be found in the syllabus entries.

Haroon Ahmed's book on the history of the Lab, Cambridge computing is now available online. The PDF version can be found here.

A convenient shortcut to checking your loans and making renewals online has been added. This may be found under the ‘Local services’ option, or by clicking here. If you use this facility in preference to the more generic one on the catalogue, then you will no longer need to know the numeric representation of your barcode.

Readers can now keep up to date with the changes in electronic resources, and with the introduction of new resources across the entire University, from the new e-resources blog. The previous e-resources newsletter will now be replaced by posts to this blog. If you regularly use electronic journals or other databases then it may be worth an occasional glance.

A new interface has been launched to allow the simultaneous searching of library catalogues, bibliographic databases and online resources. Called Library search it includes data from all the ‘Newton’ catalogues, so it may be used to search the holdings of this library. The service is still under development, and is intended to supplement, not supersede, the Newton catalogue.

Access to electronic journals is now possible from outside of the University using a proxy server. Users should find the title they are interested in via the e-journals A-Z hosted by the central University library. Following the title links from a machine outside of the .cam domain should then lead directly to a Raven login page.

The University’s subscription to the IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL) has been renewed for a further year. As a regular means of funding this has yet to be established, users throughout the University are urged to let their departmental librarian know if they find this resource particularly useful.

Access to Lecture notes in computer science is now available online, covering all volumes published since 1997. This important resource can now be accessed across the entire university as a result of half funding by the Lab. Please use SpringerLink to search and browse these volumes. Access to earlier volumes up to 1996 is pending

The University has now taken out a subscription to Scopus, a major bibliographic database covering science, technology and medicine. This includes references and abstracts from many peer-reviewed computer science journals. Users may find this database useful as an alternative to the ACM Guide to Computing Literature, for example.

The AISB Journal to which the library presently subscribes will no longer be published in print. Future issues will be available online from the AISB. The catalogue record has been updated to include the link.

The full library guide has been updated again for this academic year. Copies of the new version are now available in the library, while as before it may be accessed online by following the link to the side of this page. For those wishing to print their own copy, complete with the cover illustration and floor plan of the library, there is a version available in PDF format here.

The library no longer receives videos of the Wednesday seminars on tape, but the series is instead being recorded digitally. The recordings may be accessed here.

The Laboratory’s Technical reports site, and the University’s DSpace are now listed in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR for short). The service is a thourough listing of such archives from around the world, and is well worth checking if you are trying to find a preprint.

Thanks to funding from HEFCE’s Science Research Infrastructure fund, the University is now able to offer access to the whole of the Elsevier Science Direct backfiles. This is an extensive collection of electronic journals which includes a large number of computer science titles. Leaflets detailing the scope of the collection have been placed by the public terminals in the library, or see Elsevier’s information. Access to this resource should not require a password within the university, while from outside you may log in with an Athens password. Please contact the librarian for more information.

Two brief video tutorials may help less experienced users to make best use of our facilities: book, helpdesk. ☺

Contacting the library

Please direct all queries relating to the library or its services to the librarian, presently Nicholas Cutler, who may be contacted as below:

In person:during normal opening hours
By telephone:(01223) (3)34648
Via e-mail:[Javascript required]
In writing:The Librarian,
Computer Laboratory,
William Gates Building,
15 JJ Thomson Avenue,