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Department of Computer Science and Technology



Library resources

While the library in the Computer Laboratory closed in the Summer of 2019, library services for computer science students are now being provided by the Technology Libraries Team. The following notes are intended to assist new users in making full use of the wide range of resources available.


The Technology Libraries Team principally serves the staff and students within the subjects of Chemical engineering, Computer science and Engineering. This guide details the available collections for research and teaching in computer science. All other members of the University are welcome to use these resources alongside those from their own subject. Please note, however, that we are generally unable to provide material supporting specific proprietary software.

Location of collections

The former collection from the Computer Laboratory library is now available to browse and borrow on the ground floor of the Betty & Gordon Moore Library on Wilberforce Road. This library also holds its own collections covering many of the sciences, and further books in mathematics and computer science will be found on the second floor.

Additionally, a small collection of books to support teaching has been retained in the Computer Laboratory. This collection consists of those books on the reading lists, and may be found in the Intel Lab on the second floor of the William Gates Building.

Opening hours

At present the Moore Library is open and staffed between 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 9am to 1pm, Saturdays. Although staff on the main desk can help with general enquiries, you are advised to contact Nicholas Cutler with subject specific enquiries. He will be working in the library during normal staffed hours, Tuesdays to Fridays, using the Blue Room on the lower ground floor.

The Moore library is planning to extend services and opening hours to pre-pandemic levels, and readers should check the website for the latest information.


The principal public interface to the catalogue is known as iDiscover, and may be accessed from the web interface at: The interface to iDiscover will be familiar to anyone used to Web search engines. Please note that this system tries to present a single catalogue record for every holding of a particular title, and to group different versions of the same work together. This process happens automatically, so you may see several records for the same title. Similarly, it is advised that you ensure that the ‘Cambridge libraries collections’ option is enabled unless you explicitly wish to search for journal articles.

If you find a simple search produces too many results, then it may be worth trying the advanced search. This allows you to combine keywords from specified fields, and to further limit your search by location, material type, etc.

Finding an item

Having found the item on the catalogue, first check the library and location. If this is identified as the ‘Computer Laborartory Library: undergraduate collection’ this is one of the teaching books located in the Intel Lab. Alternatively if it is ‘Moore Library: Computer Laboratory collection’ then it is on the ground floor of the Moore library.

Now take a note of the classmark. Both collections of books are arranged by the classification number in the Library of Congress scheme. For most books this will consist of up to two letters, a decimal number, and a further subdivision constructed from the author‘s name. On the shelves the books are arranged alphabetically by the initial letters, then numerically, and finally in order of any subdivisions.

Certain classes of material are not (at present) entered on the computerised catalogue and it will be necessary to check other sources to find such items:

  • Periodicals. These are not assigned a classmark, although in this case it is possible to check the catalogue to find if the library holds a specific title. The older runs of journals are shelved on the lower ground floor of the Moore library. Most current journal subscriptions are online only, and you should check the University library’s list of electronic journals when trying to find a recent paper.
  • Student’s projects. These include tripos and diploma projects plus dissertations from the M.Phil course. As this material is not on the main catalogue, users wishing to consult a project will need to check the online database, searchable from the library’s web site. Recent projects are available electronically with copies on the Computer Laboratory’s file server. Please ask if you need help accessing these.
  • Technical reports. After report no. 575 the primary means of making technical reports available was online, with the library retaining paper copies for archival purposes only. Additionally a large number of earlier reports have now been scanned and readers are advised to check the list online first before consulting the librarian.
  • Teaching material. Other items intended to support undergraduate teaching, such as past exam papers and lecture notes are also not catalogued. Most of this material can be accessed from the teaching pages of the Computer Laboratory website.
  • Seminar videos. Most of the video recordings from the Wednesday afternoon seminars have now been digitised and copies will be made available on the file server. Digital versions of the most recent seminars are available from the website.


In addition to the above, the library also held a considerable amount of archival material and miscellaneous reports. These collections are now in storage and the catalogue records are temporarily unavailable. Ultimately it is hoped that this material will be available on request along with other archival collections in the University Library. Pleast ask about the current situation if you are interested in our archives.

Items not in the library

If you are unable to find what you are looking for on the catalogue, then there are a number of possibilities, namely:

  • The item you are looking for is included in the classes of material that are not catalogued, in which case consult the appropriate list, or ask the librarian.
  • If you are unsure of the details of the item in question, please ask the librarian for help, who may be able check the details from another source.
  • The item may be available in another library in Cambridge, particularly the Central Science library or the main University library. If you are looking for a paper in a journal, then it may be available electronically.
  • Titles of major importance, or likely to be of interest to others, may be suggested for purchase by the library.
  • As a last resort, if the item is not available elsewhere in Cambridge, or suitable for purchase, you may consider an inter-library loan. Please see below for further information.

Inter-Library loans

If you wish to obtain items which are not held in Cambridge, it is possible to obtain books on loan, as well as copies of papers, from the British Library and other libraries. Although this is a useful facility for obtaining material in low demand which is not otherwise available in Cambridge, it is also relatively expensive. This service is provided by the Moore library who are also piloting a rapid inter-library loans service. If you with to use this service then please ask.

Borrowing and returning books

If you wish to borrow from the Computer Laboratory collection then you will need to be registered at the Moore library. This should happen automatically for all current students, but if you have any concerns then please ask at the main desk. Once registered, you will be able to borrow books from the Computer Laboratory collection and elsewhere from the Moore library. Please take the books you wish to borrow to the main desk, or use the click and collect‘ service. Please be aware that books from the Computer Laboratory collection cannot be borrowed using the self-service machine.

All books borrowed from the Moore library will be issued for one week if you are an undergraduate, or up to one month for members of staff. Beyond this time, books will be renewed automatically as long as they have not been requested by another reader.

To avoid inconvenience to others, please make every effort to return books promptly when you have finished using them, or if you have been asked to do so. You may either bring items back directly to the Moore library and leave them at the main desk, or use the book drop facility by the revolving door.

If you want to borrow an item which is currently on loan to another reader then you may make a request through the catalogue, or by asking the librarian. You will then be contacted when the item is available for collection.

You can view a list of those items which you have on loan at any time by using the ‘My library account’ option in iDiscover. To find this, first click on the ellipsis icon at the top of the screen. Current staff and students will then be able to log in using their Raven password. This option will also show you the status on any requests you have made.

Electronic resources

Not surprisingly, the field of computer science is well supplied with electronic resources, mostly available on the World Wide Web. The full range of resources available is beyond the scope of this guide, but the list below will give some idea of what is available:

Electronic journal subscriptions are managed by the Journals Coordination Scheme, and most titles should be accessible from any computer on the University network. Access from home is often possible using Raven authentication. Please ask the librarian if you experience any problems with electronic journals.

Additionally we have access to the entire ACM and IEEE digital library packages. These offer a large number of important journal titles and conference proceedings within computer science. Online access to the book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science, published by Springer, is also available. Please note that these collections are partially supported by contributions from the Engineering department, and the Central Science Library.

Because of the huge quantity of material available online, it can be difficult to find the information you are looking for. As a starting point, the library’s own web pages have links to a number of useful resources, and are regularly revised as new material becomes available. Beyond this, a listing of electronic journals and other resources is available from the web pages maintained by the main University library. If you are trying to obtain details of a computer science journal or conference paper then you may find the Trier Bibliography (DBLP) useful. The ACM guide to computing literature may also help. Finally, as a last resort, try one of the well known Internet search engines, but be prepared for long lists of sometimes unrelated information. In this latter case, if you are looking for academic material, then Google Scholar is often more focused than its more general counterpart.

Equipment in the library

In addition to computer terminals for accessing the library catalogue and internet, the library also offers a range of facilities:

  • Photocopiers are located on the lower ground floor (near the bound periodicals) and are coin operated. You will need to insert coins into the unit to the left of the machine before making a copy. Charges are 10p per A4 sheet, or 20p per A3 sheet.
  • The printer and scanner are found on the ground floor and should be available to current staff and students with a DS-Print account. Print requests can be sent from any MCS machine in the building, selecting the ‘UL_FindMe’ printer. Charges start at 8p per A4 sheet in black and white, while scanning is free. The device also doubles up as an additional photocopier.
  • The electronic legal deposit terminal is located on the ground floor and can be used to view any book identified as electronic legal deposit in the catalogue with the message ‘Online access restricted to designated PCs’. There are some restrictions, principally that only one reader may view a title at any one time, and that no digital copies may be made, either by downloading or by photography. Printing is possible using the nearby printer.
  • The CD-ROM terminal is a single non-networked PC on the ground floor which is reserved for readers wishing to use any computer disc or CD-ROM which may have been provided along with a book. No password is required and printing is not possible from this terminal.

Access for disabled persons

We endeavour as far as possible to provide the same facilities to all readers regardless of any disability they may have. The library is fortunate in being housed a modern building, making wheelchair access relatively easy, with step free access through the power assisted entrance to the right of the revolving door. A lift is also available to access other floors. It is respected that disabilities can take many forms and any disabled readers are invited to contact the librarian prior to their visit to discuss their needs. Similarly, wherever possible, the librarian will be happy to provide any assistance you might need to access the collections.

Library rules

We ask that readers respect the library and its other users. In particular, please observe the following points:

  • Please keep noise to a minimum by switching off mobile ’phones, disabling sound on laptops, and talking quietly if collaborating with another reader.
  • Please do not eat or drink (with the exception of plain water) in the library as accidents can easily happen.
  • Return items to the shelves, or to the librarian when you no longer need them. Additionally, please do not leave personal belongings unattended for any prolonged period of time.
  • If borrowing items then please return or renew them promptly at the end of the normal loan period.

Using other libraries

There are over 100 libraries within the University, so even if we cannot help you directly, another library may hold the resources you need. If you are working in a subject related to computer science, then you may find the collections within another department useful. Also, undergraduate students will find that their college library holds at least some titles from the reading list. This can be a useful source for obtaining those books in heavy demand.

To find out more about the library system in Cambridge as a whole, and to find details for individual libraries, use the gateway. For help with study skills such as using the catalogue, and performing a literature search you may find the CamGuides pages useful. Finally a collection of guides to library resources and services for specific subjects can be found at:


If you have any questions or suggestions relating to the library then please feel free to ask the librarian, presently Nicholas Cutler, who may be contacted by any of the following means:

In person:during normal opening hours
By telephone:(01223) (3)33163
Via e-mail:[Javascript required]
In writing:Nicholas Cutler,
Betty & Gordon Moore Library,
Wilberforce Road,
CB3 0WD.