The Woolf Institute takes great pride in its library. Housed in a state-of-the-art contemporary space overlooking the grounds of Westminster College, its bespoke furniture, shelving and lighting offer an excellent and congenial space in which to study and work. The library is housed on two floors with up to 20 reading/study spaces. Members of the CTF and University may access the Library during opening hours upon production of their University/CTF card and must sign in at Reception. Members of St Edmund's College enjoy access for study and borrowing rights owing to the academic association shared between St Edmund's and the Woolf Institute. Members of the Cambridge Muslim College have reciprocal reading rights. 

To book a space, all students and researchers should email the Library in advance of their visit.


We are delighted to announce that the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Library collection is now located at the Woolf Institute. To view the collection, please contact the Library in advance of your visit to make suitable arrangements.

Contact the Library:

Woolf Institute Library's Collection & Policy

The library's holdings form a discrete, highly specialised collection exploring Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations. Material includes reference works along with 'open shelf' works on religion, historical background, philosophy, socio-political titles, the Arts and current studies allied to the interests of the Institute's academic and research community. The library uses an abbreviated form of the Library of Congress classification system and offers access to the online catalogue administered by iDiscover, offering a way to search library collections across the University.


For information related to this collection or one of the other libraries within the Cambridge Theological Federation, download the CTF Libraries Guide here.

Library's Collection Policy

The Library's Collection Policy can be downloaded here.

Library Opening and Rules

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 09.00-17.00

Please put mobile phones on silent and try to maintain silence in the library out of respect for other readers. Food and drink (aside from bottled water with a secure top) are not permitted. Smoking in the Institute and its library are strictly prohibited. No one may mark/highlight any of the library's book holdings/printed material.

Please do not 'colonise' study spaces so that others are deprived of using them and please return any books consulted to their places when you no longer have need of them.

Borrowing Books & DVDs

For those with borrowing rights, up to 5 books may be borrowed for 2 weeks & DVDs overnight or, on Fridays, for the weekend. Books may be renewed online or by emailing There are no fines but any loss of books incurs a charge to replace the lost item(s).

For those who are not members of the University/CTF:

Permission to use the library must be obtained by writing in advance of a visit to the Library at

Library Talks Series 2018-19

The Woolf Institute organises three Library Talks Series during the academic year. These talks take place in the Woolf Institute Library. Details of these talks can be found by clicking on the links:

30 June 2019. Medieval Mystics in Conversation: An Evening of Mystical Poetry and Sacred Chant

20 February 2019. Book Launch with Professor Dr Lejla Demiri & Revd Dr Yazir Said: The Future of Interfaith Dialogue: Muslim-Christian Encounters through a Common Word

7 November 2018. Book Launch with Professor Deborah Howard: The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy

Library Talks Series 2017-18

The Woolf Institute organises three Library Talks Series during the academic year. These talks take place in the Woolf Institute Library. Details of these talks can be found by clicking on the links:

20 June 2018: Dr Margie Tolstoy, 'Emmanuel Levinas on Morality after the Failure of Morality'

25 April 2018: Professor Wendy Pullan, 'The Struggle for Jerusalem's Holy Places'

21 February 2018: Professor Marc Saperstein, 'Agony in the Pulpit: Christian Sermonic Responses to Nazi Mass Persecution and Murder, ca 1933-1945'

Donations Policy

The Woolf Institute welcomes book donations for the Library. Please review the Library Donations Policy and contact the Library.

The Library Donations Policy can be downloaded here.

Contact the Library at

Recent Acquisitions

Download the list of recent acquisitions here.