Cambridge University

Cambridge University

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The first students arrived in Cambridge in 1209 after fleeing from rioting in Oxford. Cambridge's first college, Peterhouse, was endowed by Hugh de Balsham, the Bishop of Ely, in 1284. Following the example of Merton at Oxford University, Peterhouse was a self-governing college.

In the middle of the 14th century two colleges were established by wealthy women, Elizabeth de Clare (Clare College, 1326) and Mary of Chatillion (Pembroke College, 1347). Thirteen other colleges were founded by the end of the 16th century including Gonville and Caius (1348), Corpus Christi (1352), King's (1441), Queens' (1448), St Catherine's (1473), Jesus (1496), Christ's (1505), St John's (1511), Magdalene (1542) Trinity (1544), Emmanuel (1584). Four more colleges were established in the 19th century including two for women (Girton, 1869 and Newnham 1871). In all, there are now 33 university colleges in Cambridge.

In 1615 Cambridge University was granted the right to elect two MPs. The vote was given to all members of the senate. Between 1784 and 1806 one of Cambridge's MPs was William Pitt. In 1826 Lord Palmerston, who had been Cambridge's representative since 1811, was defeated as a result of him supporting the proposed Parliamentary Reform Act.

I come now to the town, and university of Cambridge. The colleges, halls, and houses are promiscuously scattered up and down among the other parts, and some even among the meanest of the other buildings; yet they are incorporated together, by the name of the university, and are governed apart, and distinct from the town, which they are so intermixed with. As their authority is distinct from the town, so are their privileges, customs and government: they choose representatives, or Members of Parliament for themselves. As the colleges are many, and the gentlemen entertained in them are a very great number, the trade of the town very much depends upon them, and the tradesman may justly be said to get their bread by the colleges.

Downing College, Cambridge

Downing College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge and currently has around 650 students. Founded in 1800, it was the only college to be added to Cambridge University between 1596 and 1869, and is often described as the oldest of the new colleges and the newest of the old. [4] Downing College was formed "for the encouragement of the study of Law and Medicine and of the cognate subjects of Moral and Natural Science", and has developed a reputation amongst Cambridge colleges for Law [5] and Medicine.

Downing has been named one of the two most eco-friendly Cambridge colleges. [6]

Eight Centuries of History in Oxford and Cambridge

The oldest colleges at Oxford— University , Balliol , and Merton —dispute with one another for the right to claim first place—they arose in the middle of the 1200s. Significantly, the lovely old structure that goes by the name of New College is new only by comparison with them, having its own foundation in 1379. That’s a very special kind of “new.” Peterhouse , Cambridge, founded in 1284, is admitted by all to be the oldest college at Cambridge, though the university itself was founded in 1209, and celebrated its 800 th birthday in 2009. Its founders were a group of Oxford scholars, escaping from the wrongful accusation of having committed a murder.

Most of the colleges will admit visitors in return for a small charge. Visit two or three in each city to get the feel of them. I recommend Merton , Christ Church and Magdalen in Oxford, St. John’s , King’s , and Christ’s College in Cambridge, but many others will serve equally well. You’re generally allowed to visit the chapel, the dining hall, sometimes the old library, and the quadrangles, now superbly tended by gardeners who compete with one-another for annual honors in cultivating the best flowers.

King’s College Chapel (side view)

King’s College, Cambridge, is probably the most superb of the lot and the chapel at King’s College is one of the most outstanding buildings in the whole country. Begun in 1446 in the Perpendicular Gothic style , its ceiling (built 1512-1515) features the grandest example of fan vaulting anywhere. Building was interrupted by the Wars of the Roses , one of whose victims was Henry himself, and for decades the chapel lay half-finished. Changes in the color of the stone, clearly visible today, indicate the point where work re-started after a long delay, using stone from a different quarry.

Facts about Cambridge University 5: the museums

Cambridge University also has various museums. Those include the scientific, cultural and art museums. You can also enjoy the botanic garden here.

Facts about Cambridge University 6: the libraries

Can you guess the number of books in Cambridge University? There are around 15 million books in the libraries. The oldest publishing house in the world is Cambridge University Press. Check Cambridge facts here.

MSt Building History

The MSt in Building History is unique in providing a Masters course combining British Architectural History with practical tuition in interpreting building fabric. Students are taken from a wide variety of backgrounds. The course is heavily taught in the first year by invited speakers. Lectures are matched to field trips. The emphasis is on learning to research, record and assess historic buildings. By the end of the first year students are expected to be able to date buildings from their details and unravel their evolution. They are also given instruction on how to investigate and survey historic structures. The second year is divided between professional experience and a personal research project which constitutes the thesis.

The course has been designed by the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art in close association with Historic England and the Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall.

It teaches both academic and professional knowledge, placing particular emphasis on practical skills of building investigation and analysis. It stresses the importance of rigorous documentary research. Students are taught methods for assigning value and significance, and how to understand buildings in their historic landscape context.

Course Delivery

Students taking the MSt will enjoy a wide range of lectures from expert speakers. The lecturers come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, all experts in their fields. See the Contributors section for more detailed information. The subjects covered include architectural history, archaeology, history, historic building recording, conservation and heritage management. Lectures are delivered in three residential courses in the first year, arranged chronologically, covering the periods from the beginning of the Middle Ages to the present day. Mornings are spent in lectures. Afternoons are spent on visits, accompanied by the lecturers, to buildings of interest, where structural, stylistic and typological issues can be explored in situ. Skills of observation, analysis and interpretation are taught and developed. Practical skills in building surveying and recording are also developed through a variety of field exercises and workshops.

Background of applicants

The Department’s two-year part-time MSt in Building History is an interdisciplinary research-based Masters degree aimed at applicants with professional interests and ambitions in architectural history, buildings archaeology, historic building conservation and heritage management, and is specifically intended to be compatible with in-service career development as well as with embarking on a new career while continuing to work. It is aimed particularly at:

  • students from a wide variety of backgrounds – particularly archaeology, architecture, art history and history – who wish to become building historians or to apply building history skills in a broad range of heritage-related fields
  • existing historic environment professionals wishing to formalise or extend their historical understanding of the built environment
  • particularly able candidates hoping to proceed to doctoral research on a related topic (students must achieve a mark of 70% or higher to proceed to doctoral research and must find a suitable supervisor within the university to continue at Cambridge).

Information for applicants

Course length and dates of course:

Saturday 9 October – Sunday 24 October 2021

Saturday 22 January – Sunday 6 Feb ruary 2022

Saturday 30 April – Sunday 15 May 2022

Saturday 18 Jun e – Friday 24 June 2022

Fees and funding

The fees for 2021 – 2023 will be £7,878 per annum for Home/EU students and £11,574 per annum for overseas students . This includes both the tuition and college membership fees.

Students will be expected to cover the application fee (£70 online) and any costs of travel (except travel costs arising from visits organised as part of the course), accommodation and subsistence during residential sessions in Cambridge.

Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans

MSt Building History students will become members of Wolfson College, which was specifically established for mature and graduate students and also welcomes part-time students.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted online from mid-September 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Read the MSt Application Guide to find out more about the application process and what you need to do and consider as a potential applicant. See below for details of the supporting documents you will need to provide when applying for this course.

Apply online when you are ready to start the application process.

Candidates accepted for this course will normally have at least a 2i honours degree from a UK university or equivalent.

International students:

Under the UK Border Agency’s Points-based Immigration system overseas part-time students who are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland must obtain a Student Visitor Visa unless they already enjoy the right of residence in the UK. See the guidance from the Institute of Continuing Education. Holders of Student Visitor Visas may not undertake professional placements in the UK and will therefore need to identify an overseas placement within the terms of the Placement Guidelines (see the link above).

Students whose first language is not English must meet the University’s minimum English language requirements for this course:

Overall band score of 7.5, with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening, writing, and in reading.

Course Director: Dr Adam Menuge
Course Administrator: Alexandra Lumley

Course Management Committee:

Dr James Campbell (Architecture)
Dr Frank Salmon (History of Art)
John Cattell (Historic England)
Bob Hook (Historic England)
Dr Wendy Andrews (Architecture)
Emily Cole (Historic England)

Please note that the administration of applications to this course is handled by the Department in conjunction with the University’s Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley.

For all enquiries please contact the Course Administrator Alexandra Lumley.

1800s: A Century of Growth

1810: John Thornton Kirkland begins 18-year presidency.

1815: University Hall is completed.

1816: The Divinity School is established.

1817: Harvard Law School is established.

1829: Josiah Quincy begins his 16-year presidency.

1832: Dane Hall, the Law School’s first new building, was formally dedicated in Harvard Yard and served for more than half a century thereafter.

1836: Harvard Bicentennial.

1836: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow appointed professor.

1837: Ralph Waldo Emerson ’21 delivers Phi Beta Kappa oration.

The Holocaust and New World Slavery A Comparative History 2 Volume Hardback Set

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact [email protected] providing details of the course you are teaching.

This volume offers the first, in-depth comparison of the Holocaust and new world slavery. Providing a reliable view of the relevant issues, and based on a broad and comprehensive set of data and evidence, Steven Katz analyzes the fundamental differences between the two systems and re-evaluates our understanding of the Nazi agenda. Among the subjects he examines are: the use of black slaves as workers compared to the Nazi use of Jewish labor the causes of slave demographic decline and growth in different New World locations the main features of Jewish life during the Holocaust relative to slave life with regard to such topics as diet, physical punishment, medical care, and the role of religion the treatment of slave women and children as compared to the treatment of Jewish women and children in the Holocaust. Katz shows that slave women were valued as workers, as reproducers of future slaves, and as sexual objects, and that slave children were valued as commodities. For these reasons, neither slave women nor children were intentionally murdered. By comparison, Jewish slave women and children were viewed as the ultimate racial enemy and therefore had to be exterminated. These and other findings conclusively demonstrate the uniqueness of the Holocaust compared with other historical instances of slavery.

  • The first in depth comparison of the Holocaust and new world slavery
  • A fundamental re-examination of Jewish slave labor during World War II
  • Fully examines the unique treatment of women and children in the contexts of both new world slavery and the Holocaust


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Cambridge, city (district), administrative and historic county of Cambridgeshire, England, home of the internationally known University of Cambridge. The city lies immediately south of the Fens country (a flat alluvial region only slightly above sea level) and is itself only 20 to 80 feet (6 to 24 metres) above sea level. Most of the city is built on the east bank of the River Cam, a tributary of the Ouse. Suburbs extend across the river, but modern development to the west has been largely restricted to university expansion.

Originally a fording place, Cambridge possesses earthworks, including Castle Hill, and Roman remains. Later there was another settlement at Market Hill. Two monastic foundations date from the 11th and 12th centuries, respectively—Barnwell Priory and a Benedictine nunnery, replaced in 1496 by Jesus College.

Cambridge received its first charter in 1207 the uninterrupted existence of public officers in the city since the Middle Ages is noteworthy. It also has an interesting guild history, Corpus Christi College having been founded by guilds in 1352.

Modern Cambridge has been described as “perhaps the only true university town in England.” University and college buildings provide nearly all the outstanding architectural features. The beauty of the city is enhanced by many commons and other open spaces, including Jesus Green and Midsummer Common, Sheep’s Green, Lammas Land, Christ’s Pieces, Parker’s Piece, the University Botanic Gardens (much developed, extended, and improved), and the Backs. The Backs are the landscaped lawns and gardens through which the River Cam winds behind the main line of colleges, including Queens’, King’s, Clare, Trinity, St. John’s, and Magdalene, and under a series of magnificent bridges, of which the Bridge of Sighs (St. John’s, 1827–31), the stone bridge of Clare with thick stone balls on the parapets (1638–40), and the so-called “Mathematical Bridge” of Queens’ are among the best known. East of the River Cam is King’s Parade, a street where the 15th-century church Great St. Mary’s and a line of attractive shops face King’s College with its chapel and the university Senate House (built between 1722 and 1730 from designs by James Gibbs). King’s College Chapel (1446–1515), the best-known building in Cambridge, was designed by Henry VI as part of an immense and never fully realized conception. Great buttresses, lofty spires and turrets, a high vaulted roof, heraldic devices, and magnificent stained-glass windows are among the notable features of the chapel.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language by completing one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic: Overall band score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component)
  • CAE: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment.
  • CPE: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element).
  • TOEFL iBIT: Overall score of at least 110 with no element below 25

The course fee for 2021-23, which includes College membership, is £5,340 per annum for Home students and £11,574 per annum for Overseas students. The fee status of EU nationals for 2021 entry onwards will be International by default until the UK government announce further details and amendments of the current regulation. EU students should regularly check for updates at:

The fee can be paid across the two years of the course in eight equal instalments. Students taking this course may apply to the following Colleges: Wolfson, St Edmund's, Selwyn or Lucy Cavendish (admitting male students from 2021). Please note that there may be small additional fees payable to a College for specific services provided for further information please contact the College directly.

Students will be expected to cover the application fee (£70 online) and any costs of travel and accommodation during residential sessions in Cambridge. As a student studying for the MSt in History, you can book en-suite accommodation at Madingley Hall (including breakfast). Please note that, although you will be a member of a College, you will not be entitled to College accommodation.

History of Cambridge University Library

From as early as the middle of the fourteenth century, the University of Cambridge owned and kept in chests in its treasury a small collection of books. However, it was in the second decade of the fifteenth century that the first University Library found its home on the newly built Old Schools site.

By the end of the sixteenth century, the Library had in its possession as many as 600 books. However, like other English libraries, the University Library suffered from the destruction and neglect of the Reformation and the years that followed it. Although a catalogue of the Library drawn up in 1557 lists fewer than 200 volumes, a remarkable number of books and manuscripts from the Library’s earliest years did, in fact, survive.

In 1574, Andrew Perne, Master of Peterhouse, engaged the support of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and other benefactors including Sir Nicholas Bacon, to restore the Library’s collections. Their generous gifts stimulated other benefactions and by the end of the sixteenth century the Library’s holdings approached 1,000 volumes.

The first half of the seventeenth century again saw a number of important additions to the Library, including a collection of Arabic and other manuscripts presented by the Duchess of Buckingham in 1632, and a collection of Hebrew books purchased in 1647. In that same year, Lambeth Library’s collection of 10,000 volumes was bequeathed to the Library, but returned at the request of the new Archbishop William Juxon following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

In its place, the library of Richard Holdsworth, Master of Emmanuel, was adjudged to the university in 1664, containing 10,095 printed volumes and 186 manuscripts, including more than 200 incunabula, an important manuscript of Chaucer and a ninth-century manuscript reputed to contain the oldest written remains of the Welsh language.

The beginning of the eighteenth century saw two events that prompted a turning point in the status of the Library. The first was in 1710, when the University Library was included among the nine privileged libraries of copyright deposit under the first Copyright Act. This was followed in 1715 by King George I’s presentation of the renowned library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely, subsequently known as the Royal Library, which contained some 30,000 volumes and 1,790 manuscripts.

From 1867-1886, the librarianship was held by distinguished collector and scholar, Henry Bradshaw, who established efficient structures and procedures, some of which survive in practice today, and set about restoring to order the Library’s collections of manuscripts and rare books.

Bradshaw and his two successors, Francis Jenkinson (librarian from 1889 to 1923) and Alwyn Faber Scholfield (librarian from 1923 to 1949) transformed the Library into a place where scholarship might be pursued and its needs adequately served. This was achieved through their developments of classification and cataloguing systems and their acquisitions of important book and manuscript collections, including the arrival of the Taylor-Schechter fragments from the Cairo genizah in 1898 and the bequest of the A. W. Young in 1933, which included a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

Under the librarianship of Scholfield and with the generous aid of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Library was built a new, and considerably larger, home designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, which opened in 1934. A number of major acquisitions in all departments came to the Library during the course of the twentieth century, prompting the need to build an additional closed-stack extension which was taken into use in 1972.

Since the turn of the twenty-first century, as well as continuing to grow its physical collections, the Library has focused on its digital collections through the Legal Deposit Libraries Act which extended legal deposit to include electronic materials in 2003, and the launch of the Cambridge Digital Library in 2010.