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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Information for FAMES undergraduate students


1. Registration                                                                                                     

2. Library catalogue                                                                                             

3. Library account                                                                                               

4. Borrowing, returning, renewing   

5. Fines and blocks    

6. Other Cambridge libraries    

7. IT     

8. How to find an item on reading list  


You may need to register with us before you borrow items (i.e. books and DVDs) for the first time.  To register, you may bring your University Card along. 

2. Library catalogue

To find the details of physical or electronic items the Cambridge libraries house or subscribe to, you may search the iDiscover catalogue. 

3. Library account

When you log in to iDiscover, you may

  • view borrowed items

  • manage requests (i.e. recalls)

  • pay fines

  • save search results.

You will receive a monthly statement on the 2nd of every month with a list of what you have on loan.It is a good opportunity to check your account and keep track of items you might have forgotten you had on loan.

4. Borrowing, returning, and renewing

Our undergraduate borrowing allowance is 5 items.  There are two types of loan: ordinary loan (7-day loan) and overnight loan (1-day loan).  Overnight loans should be returned to the Library by the following day, or on Monday if borrowed on a Friday.  Ordinary loans are subjected to a recall.

You can use the self-issue machine to borrow or return items (except DVDs).  You can also bring them over to the issue desk.  To borrow or return DVDs, you may need to speak to a member of staff.

All ordinary loans will be auto-renewed at regular intervals.  We have a fixed due date at the end of each academic year.  No overnight loans are renewable: they need to be returned to the Library by the following day.

5. Fines and blocks

Fines are charged at a rate of £1 for overdue recalled items and overnight loans, including DVDs.  Fines will be accrued up to 60 days.  Payment can be made in cash, by cheque, or online via iDiscover.

If you have two or more overdue recalled items, your account will be blocked from borrowing at any library until the recalled items are returned.  If you have an outstanding fine of £100 or more, your account will be blocked from borrowing.

6. Other Cambridge libraries

You may borrow up to 10 books.  At the time of your arrival at the University, you are already registered.

  • The Library of your college: see their borrowing policies.

  • The other faculty or departmental libraries: for their borrowing policies, go to the Cambridge Libraries page. 

7. IT

  • Wi-Fi Access

  • There are two wireless Internet networks available in the Library: UniofCam and Eduroam.  There is no need to set up UniofCam, but you will need to log in with Raven each time you connect.  If you connect using Eduroam, you will only need to enter your password once and you will stay connected to Eduroam around Cambridge.  On how to set up Eduroam, see the page: 'How to set up and use the University of Cambridge Wireless Services via Eduroam'.

  • If you do not have a Wi-Fi-enabled device, you can use a computer in the IT room.  All the computers there have access to the Internet.

  • Printing, photocopying and scanning

  • Photocopying, printing and scanning are available from the multi-function machine in the IT room.  The machine prints and photocopies in black & white or colour and single or double-sided (default setting) on A4 or A3 paper.  Scanned materials will be sent to your Cambridge email address.

  • There are three devices through which you can send print jobs to the machine: the designated computer in the IT room; your own computer; or your USB memory stick.

  • As you enter the room you find the designated computer on the right-hand side near the door.

  • To use your own computer, you may need to set up both Eduroam and a connection to the machine before printing for the first time.  For further details, see

  • If you use your USB memory stick, insert it into the USB port on the right-hand side of the machine, and then follow the instructions on the menu screen.

  • You may need to convert a Word document into a PDF before printing if it contains non-Roman scripts, syllables, or characters.

  • You may pay via the cashless payment system Common Balance.  To replenish your account, go to the My DS-print (Raven login / debit or credit card required).

8. How to find an item on reading lists

  1. Log in to iDiscover

  2. Start with a keyword search.  You may avoid

    1. common names

    2. definite and indefinite articles

    3. fields of study (e.g. Politics, History).

  3. Narrow down the search results if necessary.  You may use one or more of these filtering options:

    1. Availability (i.e. Available in the Library or Full Text Online)

    2. Resource Type (e.g. Books, Journals, or Audio Visual)

    3. Library – you can choose multiple locations

and more

  1. If the item is a book, note down the classmark to locate it.

Below are three examples:


Khan, Geoffrey. 2000. Early Karaite Grammatical Texts. Vol. no.9. Masoretic Studies ; Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature.

  • If you search the above book, you may use a combination of at least three keywords, e.g. Khan, Karaite, and Grammatical (not case-sensitive).

Book Chapter

Bennison, Amira K. 2009. “The Ottoman Empire and Its Precedents from the Perspective of English School of Theory.” in International Society and the Middle East : English School Theory at the Regional Level, 45–69. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • If you search the above book chapter, you may use a combination of at least three keywords from the italicised title, e.g. International, Middle East, and Regional (not case-sensitive).

Journal Article

Fahmy, Khaled. 2015. “Dissecting the Modern Egyptian State.” IJMES 47 (3). Cambridge University Press: 559–62. doi:10.1017/S0020743815000550.

  • When you search the above journal article, you may choose the ‘Article and online resources’ option and type the article title in the search box. 

If you have no results, you may need to find out about IJMES, the acronym for a journal title.  Go to Google Scholar and type the article title in the search box.  The result will tell you that IJMES stands for the International Journal of Middle East Studies.  Then go back to iDiscover and type the journal title in the search box.



We ensure that we shall purchase electronic versions of core reading books as long as they are available.  You would be welcome to request extra copies of books on reading lists.  If we find a particular book in demand, we shall buy more copies or an electronic version.