Planning Your Research Visit

Rare Books & Special Collections is located on the fourth floor of the Founders Memorial Library (room 403). The reading room is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon; 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and by appointment. Please contact the Curator if you require assistance outside of normal business hours.

Our collection is open to all—faculty, staff, students, and the public. Researchers who wish to use departmental materials need not make an appointment unless they require in-depth reference assistance. Classes or groups need to schedule an appointment. Please contact the Curator to reserve a time or for general inquiries. Refer to the Reading Room Policies for details about using our collections.

First-time researchers will need to complete a registration form. Call slips must be completed for each publication title or archival box requested. Researchers are allowed a maximum of 10 items at a time. Requests for materials are not accepted after 4:15 p.m.

There are 3 basic category types that will indicate which resource is needed to be used to find relevant material:

  1. Publications—books, periodicals, catalogs, audiovisual material, etc. that have been published. Items may be found in Rare Books or Special Collections. Search the library catalog.
  2. Archives—collections of papers, records, objects that documents a person or an organization. Search Archon (archival database).
  3. Manuscripts--handwritten documents that are precursors to printed materials. Can be found in the library catalog or in Archon

Many of our dime novels have been digitized and are freely accessible. Researchers needing to consult originals of items that have digital surrogates must receive special permission from the Curator. Requests to view dime novels that have not been digitized must be received at least three business days in advance of your visit.