Can I visit the Trinity College (Cambridge) library and see some of their rare books: Newton Principia, Ramanujan, etc., as displayed in the "The Man who Knew Infinity" movie?


The Wren Library of Trinity college is open to the public from noon to 2pm each weekday throughout the year and also from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Saturdays during university "full term". It's closed at Christmas and Easter.

Their website says, "There are six exhibition cases in which a small fraction of the Library’s treasures are on display" but it doesn't give more precise information. You could ask the Trinity College sub-librarian what is currently on display; their email address is included on that page.

I expect that Newton's copy of Principia would normally be on display because it's so famously associated with the college. However, it's currently (until August 2019) on display in a public exhibition at the University Library, which is open 9am–6pm Monday–Friday and 9am–4:30pm on Saturdays.

The Wren Library's Ramanujan collection has been digitized and is available online. Of course, that's not the same thing as seeing the original documents. Newton's Principia and Opticks are also online.

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    I expect that Newton's copy of Principia would be on display because it's so famously associated with the college Until August 2019, the annotated Principia is on display in the University Library as part of an exhibition. The University Library exhibition space is freely accessible Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00 and Saturday 09:00-16:30.
    – MJeffryes
    Apr 12 '19 at 15:10
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    @MJeffryes Thanks! Edited. Apr 12 '19 at 15:23
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    I suspect that the manuscript of Winnie the Pooh may also be displayed, to tie in with the patter of the punt guides who unanimously say that it's their favourite item in the Wren's collection. However, I've only visited the Wren briefly when I matriculated, and I didn't pay much attention to the display cases. Apr 12 '19 at 20:07
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    It's also worth noting that the library's policy of being open to the public almost all year round should be taken with a pinch of salt: visitors may not be able to reach the library if the college in general is closed to visitors. In particular, around exam time (May to early June) the porters might not let you into the college, and in May Week (mid June) access to the college is restricted due to security around the May Ball. Apr 12 '19 at 20:10

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