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The Pepys Library, Cambridge

#158 of 224 in Things to do in Cambridge
University / School · Hidden Gem · Library
The Pepys Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge, is the personal library collected by Samuel Pepys which he bequeathed to the college following his death in 1703.
Pepys was a lifelong bibliophile and carefully nurtured his large collection of books, manuscripts, and prints. At his death, there were more than 3,000 volumes, including the diary, all carefully catalogued and indexed; they form one of the most important surviving 17th century private libraries.
Pepys made detailed provisions in his will for the preservation of his book collection; and, when his nephew and heir, John Jackson, died, in 1723, it was transferred, intact, to Magdalene. The bequest included all the original bookcases and his elaborate instructions that placement of the books "... be strictly reviewed and, where found requiring it, more nicely adjusted". Under the terms of the bequest, none of the books may be sold, and no additional ones may be added to the library.
The library is housed in a room on the first floor of the Pepys Building in the second court of the college. It contains 3,000 books preserved in Pepys's own bookcases for them (perhaps those his journal attributes to Sympson the Joiner) and organised by size as he had catalogued them.
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  • A complete privilege to be able to see this amazing library. Bequeathed to Magdalene College by Pepys it contains not just his famous diary, but hundreds of books and documents that he collected...  more »
  • Really enjoyed our trip here, our son has studied Samuel Pepys a couple of years ago, it was such an interesting experience learning about what an influential man he was. Great to find that you can...  more »
  • Such an amazing place to be !♥️✌🏾
  • Amazing little place where you can see fascinating books and diaries from Pepys' original collection.

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