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Cathedral Library & Archives

The Cathedral Library and Archives

Peterborough Cathedral has a small library available for research and academic projects. Most of the Abbey's and Cathedral's surviving books and papers from before 1800 are held at Cambridge University Library. The Cathedral library does not have regular opening hours but can be accessed for research by arrangement.

The Cathedral Library

With assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Cathedral is in the midst of updating the library's catalogue system to enable members of the public to search for items online, enabling the collection to be more accessible than it is possible to make it at present.

The Peterborough Cathedral Library, which is held in the Rare Books Collection at Cambridge, consists of nearly 4,500 volumes and includes some 60 incunabula (very early printed books). If you would like to search the Cathedral Library items kept in Cambridge, please visit Cambridge University 'Newton' Catalogue and follow the on-screen instructions. Further information about the Rare Books Collection and contacting the Cambridge librarians can also be found on that site. The catalogue of Peterborough's items in Cambridge is also available in: Peterborough Cathedral Library: a catalogue of books printed before 1800 and now on deposit in Cambridge University Library, edited by J.J. Hall, Cambridge, 1986.

The collection that remains in the former Trinity Chapel at the Cathedral includes:

  • religious texts and commentaries from the 19th and 20th centuries;
  • some documents relating to the Cathedral itself (e.g. the Irvine Papers, compiled by the nineteenth century Cathedral architect J.T. Irvine),
  • newspaper cuttings relating to Cathedral and city events over the past two centuries, along with Cathedral and Diocesan magazines and periodicals.
  • a miscellany of local history texts;
  • calendars of the proceedings of various Medieval and Tudor Courts including Court of Chancery records. 

Archives: The Anthony Mellows Memorial Trust

The Anthony Mellows Memorial Trust oversees the preparation of editions of named records surviving from the medieval period of Peterborough Abbey and the early phase of the history of Peterborough Cathedral. The Cathedral library keeps a full set of the Northamptonshire Record Office series of works published as a result of this bequest by William Mellows.


Further information

For more information about the library and to enquire about access, please contact:

Lisa Foulkes-Arnold 

library@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk 

01733 355316