- 332100 (switchboard)
- Magdalene Street
- CB3 0AG
- pepys library: Mon-Sat, during term 1430-1530; throughout summer 1130-1230,1430-1530 (see website for details)
Magdalene college (pronounced "maudlin") is a college of the University of Cambridge, located on the north bank of the river, in the historic city centre. Founded in 1428 by an abbot seeking accommodation for his novice monks, it is widely believed that the college was sited a short distance from the city centre to avoid its various temptations.
Magdalene Bridge, just south the college, probably stands on the site of the original town river crossing. To the north of the bridge, a narrow section of road accommodates only a single lane of traffic. Passage through this restriction is governed not by traffic lights, but by signed priorities. As the street also attracts dubiously parked delivery vehicles, the road sees regular, extensive "bus-jams" which cause a great deal of confusion and mayhem directly outside the college entrance. Fortunately, Magdalene possesses ample, peaceful grounds. The gardens directly abut the river, and are home to many ducks.
Magdalene comprises around 350 undergraduates, 250 postgraduates, and 60 fellows. The college prides itself in being associated with many notable explorers. In 1986, Magdalene was the last Cambridge college to admit women. Parts of the college remain without electric light.
The architecturally significant Pepys library is popular amongst tourists: amongst other rarities, it houses the diaries of Samuel Pepys. The library contains 3000 books, indexed and shelved by size: book 1 is the smallest; 3000 the largest.
Many early college patrons died in unfortunate circumstances.