The Rare Books & Special Collections reading room is open to NIU students, faculty, and staff as well as researchers and the general public on Wednesdays from 10:30 am - noon and 1 - 4 pm and Thursdays from 9 am - noon and 2 - 4:30 pm. If you are needing assistance outside of these hours, please email us to request an appointment.
Rare Books & Special Collections of the Northern Illinois University Libraries includes those materials that, because of their rarity, condition, form, or subject matter, are best handled separately from the general collection. Although these materials are kept in a controlled environment for preservation, we greatly support their use in classroom instruction, tours, exhibitions, research, and other instructional opportunities. We believe that interaction with rare and historical materials is important to the student experience, and we welcome the opportunity to work with faculty and instructors to incorporate primary source materials in to the curricula. We also welcome all researchers who have an interest in our collections.
There is always an exhibit on display, along with periodicals, catalogs, and reference books available for browsing in the Bernadine C. Hanby Reading Room for those who are simply curious.