skip to content

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Plant Sciences



Plenty of those – 16,000 at the last count! However, since research and teaching are now far less book-based, we have relatively few newer items, except in the subject areas related to ecology. Other subject strengths are taxonomic works and floras. So, whilst you may not find a large number of recent text-books, we do hold the 'classics' and may well hold an older item that is hard to find in other libraries. 

All the books in the Plant Sciences Library are represented on the online catalogue, which is searched using iDiscover. Monographs, floras and taxonomic works are more likely to be found in the Herbarium Library in the Sainsbury Building > See the information on this page.


Many journals are available online to members of the University of Cambridge, but besides these, quite a few plant-related journals are still taken by the Plant Sciences Library in paper format. Please do not assume that because a journal is not available electronically, that immediately means it is not available at all in any of the University Libraries.

Furthermore, the Plant Sciences Library holds a very large number of back-runs of old, sometimes rare, titles. All are represented on iDiscover, but full details of holdings are not given.

If a journal is available electronically, this will be the case University-wide – the Department does not have any additional subscriptions for its own use alone.


Unfortunately there is no systematically-collected, organised ‘Department Archive’. It would be more accurate to say that some material has by chance remained in the Department. This varied group of items is not represented on any catalogue as yet : Lists are being compiled, but are not in a good enough state to be disseminated. Please see our separate Archives page for some examples of what we do hold.

Some items recognised as being of historical interest have been sent to the University Library – Please consult Janus, the catalogue of the University Archives for your area of interest.

The Finding things page will give further details on how to find items in the Library.