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Research Skills & Reading Lists

Reading Lists

Reading lists for all Undergraduate Earth Sciences courses:

Parts IA & IB

Part II (cores) Part III (options)

Reference collections

Online reference collections for Undergraduate study: past Tripos papers, part IA rock reference collection, part II/III research paper re-print collection, and previous part II/III projects.

Past Tripos Papers

Copies of past papers can be found on the relevant Moodle website. There is also an index page linking to papers for all of our courses on Camtools but this can only be accessed from computers in the University. 

Members of the ESC Supervisors area of Moodle can also access copies of papers for all our courses externally by using the  Raven login. Anyone who supervises Earth Sciences courses in department should contact  or one of the course organisers to be registered for access to this area of Moodle.

Part IA Collections

1A collections new2

The IA Collections website houses photographs and descriptions of specimens from the IA reference series, which is located at the front of the IA lab in the Earth Sciences department. This collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils is a key resource for practical material revision, but is not an exhaustive compilation of all IA practical class specimens.

The IA Collections also contains a glossary of geological terms, key references charts, and links to other useful webpages.

Part II/III Re-print Collection

The Part II/III Re-print Collection List includes details of all articles that are available in hard copy and may be borrowed from the Library Office. Many of them are on reading lists but may not be available elsewhere in the Library.

Part II/III Projects

Other Resources

Virtual Microscope

The Virtual Microscope can be used to supplement the material found within the IA reference series, as it contains images of rock thin sections from several interesting collections, including:

  • Rocks from around the UK
  • Apollo lunar mission samples
  • Meteorites
  • Microfossils


CrystalMaker software can be used to visualise the 3-D structure of minerals, and is used in the Michaelmas mineralogy lecture course. A free demo version is available for download online, but can also be found on department computers. Instructions on how to use the software and CrystalMaker files for IA mineral structures can be found on Moodle.


Visit Moodle the "virtual collaboration environment" for course support materials - Raven login required.

Digital Map Library

Digital Map Library

Other Resources

Journal articles: the ‘Thing Explainer’ version PDF


Postgraduate Resources


 sedgwick club twitter

Sedgwick Club: the student geological society of the University of Cambridge 


User Education - Earth Sciences Provision

The Library offers a full programme of user education to Part II undergraduates and new postgraduates at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term. Some sessions will be repeated at the beginning of the Lent Term for all Library users. See What's New for a timetable of currently offered sessions. Where advised please book by emailing 

Online Tutorials

Copyright Advice

The University is licensed with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). This means that published works covered by the licence can be copied, within these restrictions:

  • No more than 5% of the total work can be copied
  • No more than one chapter per book or one article per journal issue can be copied.

Here are a couple of quick copyright flowcharts: excluding crown copyright and crown copyright

Visit the University's webpage on copyright for further information regarding copyright matters commonly encountered at the University.