R G Carter Cambridge »

Cambridge University Library



R G Carter is extremely proud to have worked extensively at the prestigious Cambridge University Library over the last 40 years. It is home to one of the greatest collections of books and manuscripts in the world.

The library was originally built between 1931 and 1934, under the supervision of architect Gilbert Scott, who even designed four-inch bricks especially for the project.


  • The first project we undertook for the library was in 1972, when demolition works were carried out to the north-west corner of the building, followed by the construction of its replacement designed to match the original 1930s style.
  • Over the following decades we have completed new builds, rebuilds, and extension projects including a mirror-image construction in the south-west corner, construction of the AOI pavilion and West Bookstacks basements bookstore, car parking, an entrance and exhibition area; re-roofing of the West Bookstacks and five storey reinforced concrete extensions, all carried out along with an extensive refurbishment programme of the book storage facilities.
  • Most recently R G Carter has repaired the roof of the Library, essential works to protect the safe storage of valuable books.


  • It is one of six legal deposit libraries in the UK, acquiring a copy of almost every book published in the UK and Ireland, irrespective of its academic level or intended readership.
  • The buildings stand several storeys tall and are all tied into one another, so even a tiny mistake in setting out the brickwork would have magnified as each job progressed.

Our Commitment:

  • We have provided photovoltaic solar ‘trees’. These will provide at least 10% of the University Library’s archive store’s annual energy uptake.


Christine Howe of Hopper Howe and Sadler, said:
‘R G Carter’s strengths lie in good communication with the on-site client and establishing a good working relationship with the whole team, being proactive where necessary. We all enjoy working with R G Carter.’

Michael R Bienias, University of Cambridge Estate Management and Building Service Director:
‘R G Carter Cambridge Ltd have successfully carried out six extensions to the University Library. All phases were completed on time and on budget and to a very high standard. The construction process involved some complicated phasing strategies and R G Carter’s on site personnel managed this complex process very well.

‘All six phases have been regarded as a great success by the University Library and the University.’

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