The easiest way to start looking at the directory is to use the web interface, which you can find at http://www.lookup.cam.ac.uk/ You will be asked for your Raven password (unless you have already supplied it in the current session) before you can see any of the directory information. You will also be asked, once only, to accept the Lookup Terms and Conditions.
From here you can search for people, institutions and groups within the University ("groups" has a specialised meaning within lookup, and does not necessarily mean, for example, research groups). By default the search looks at all three types of entity, so that Robinson will return people called Robinson, Robinson College, and all groups associated with Robinson. You can choose to search only one type.
Searching for a person is typically done by surname, though a search which includes the first name may also succeed if the person in question has included their first name in their "display name". You can also search by CRSid, role, phone number or MIS status. To find a University institution, use any complete word from the name of the institution, or its acronym (e.g. DAMTP). To search for a group, enter part of its name or description, or the numeric identifier if you know it.
For each type of search you can check the box labelled "Include approximate matches" so that names which are slightly misspelt will also be found; the results are sorted to show all exact matches at the head of the list and approximate matches below them.
You can bookmark individual pages in the directory (unlike some database-driven Web pages), for example the page for your Department or for an individual.