Cambridge University Library’s Special Collections include the oldest and most valuable materials in the Library, in manuscript, printed and artefact form, as well as modern maps and music. The oldest inscribed item in the collection is a Sumerian clay tablet with lines of text in cuneiform script, dated to ca 2200 BCE.

The Library is committed to using its Special Collections to support research and teaching, and to developing digital services to make the collections accessible to the widest possible audience in new and innovative ways. At the same time, it recognises the enduring importance of the physical collections, and the need to preserve this unique cultural heritage for future generations.

Items from the Special Collections can be viewed by all as part of the Library’s exhibitions programme or online as part of the Cambridge Digital Library. Talks and visits are frequently arranged by the Friends of Cambridge University Library and the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, and as part of the University’s Science Festival and Festival of Ideas.

The Head of Special Collections is Dr Jill Whitelock. For further information on the collections and how to use them, please visit the webpage of the relevant department where full contact details are given.

Special Collections comprises the following departments, projects and collections. For further information on the collections and how to use them, please visit the webpage of the relevant department.

One comment

  • Stewart Michalowski

    My father, Jerzy Wiktor Michałowski was an officer in Sierra Leone with the RWAFF (1941 to !942) and returned to Liverpool on the Empress of India after a serious fever. The only information I have on him are extracts from his diary, a short article he wrote on his experience in the RWAFF for a Polish Forces newspaper in Britain, in Polish, and my English mother’s accounts of him. He never recovered from his illness in SL and died in December 1944. I was born in January 1945.

    I am interested in any information about him or his experiences in the RWAFF. The Polish army can tell me nothing about those Polish officers who held British commissions; I think they wrote them off. He was promoted during his service in SL to Captain. My father’s details are: Jerzy Michałowski, ID no 2631 West Africa Forces,
    APO S101, 4 Bn Nigeria Regt, WA Forces.

    I also have a copy of Edward Eckert’s book on Polish officers in the RWAFF in which my father is listed at no. 152 on the list.

    I would be grateful if you could help me in any way. If you would like my father’s article in Polish with an English translation I can send it to you. Unfortunately, I do not speak Polish.

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