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Finding things in the Plant Sciences Library

What are you looking for….?

  • A specific book – Use the online catalogue iDiscover to find the class mark, then look further down this page for the Bay where the book should be located. All the books, even the older ones, appear on iDiscover. however, the catalogue is often difficult to interpret so please do contact us if you are not sure if we hold an item, or where.
  • Books on a particular subject – This is difficult, as the classification scheme uses very broad subject areas, and not all books on similar subjects are necessarily together. Try putting the subject into iDiscover below for a possible classmark, and suggested titles.
  • An on-line journal – You do not need to visit the Plant Sciences Library to access an on-line journal. If it is available at all, then it will be available throughout the cam-domain. Although a few online journals are not accessible outside the cam-domain, problems encountered are generally because of the route by which the journal was accessed, not because it is unavailable. Check the e-journals section on the E-resources page
    Please contact the Librarian if you are having problems with electronic accessand see the next paragraph.
  • A recent journal – Some journals are still only available as paper copies [and many as both electronic and paper]. Current issues of journals are kept in the Group Study Bay, immediately on the right as you enter from Reception. The journals are tucked into the corner on the right, just inside the bay.
  • A specific journal  – Journals are mostly shelved alphabetically, but there are a few out-of-sequence titles. See further down this page for rough Bay numbers. iDiscover does not give locations within the Library, and is not accurate regarding holdings at the moment either – best to check with us first.
  • Department Archives - Archive-type material will need to be retrieved for you - See our Archives page for information.
  • Simpson Collection – This historic collection of British floras is housed Herbarium Library in the Sainsbury Building. There is no ‘walk in’ access to the Sainsbury Building, even if you are a member of the Department of Plant Sciences [unless your University card has been processed by building security]. Please contact .
  • Floras, works related to taxonomy, and on individual plant species – Floras, taxonomic works and monographs on particular plants are also now in the Sainsbury Building. As with the Simpson Collection, permission is needed to use the new library.  Please contact .

Rough guide to Bay contents

Because of the rather confusing layout of the library, stacks are numbered in two sequences according to whether they hold books [B1 >] or journals [J1>]. The numbers are displayed at the top of each stack and will hopefully help when the sequence moves to the next Bay or snakes around a corner. A rough idea of location is given below.

Lower floor

  • Bay 1 – Not accessible to library users
  • Bay 2 – Quiet bay. Currently only 4 places available
  • Bay 3/4 – Group Study Area ; Books with classmarks A – C; Current issues of some journals
  • Bay 5 – Books with classmarks D – L, and stairs to upper Bays
  • Bay 6 – Journals A – B; Some study seats ; Librarian’s desk
  • Bay 7 – Desktop computers. Journals B [cont]
  • Bay 8 – Desktop computers. Journals B [cont]
  • Corridor – Books with classmarks A,  D, and  L – V. Networked copier / printer

Mezzanine floor [stairs in Bay 5]

  • Journals B – Z

Outside the Library

  • Sainsbury Building - Simpson Collection books; floras; monographs; taxonomic works; Some journals on those subjects. Please contact .

Contact details

Please use e-mail if possible :

Dept. of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing St, Cambridge CB2 3EA
Phone : 01223 333930

Librarian : Mehves Dignum
Academic Libn : Prof. David Coomes