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Using Special Collections and University Archives

This guide provides information on finding, requesting, and using materials from Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland.

Preparing for your Visit

Contact special collections staff in advance for assistance. Access to some collections may be restricted or retrieval delayed because of physical condition or level of processing.


- Contact us if you are interested in a specific subject and a special collections librarian can help identify materials that may be of interest.

Register online for an Special Collections Research Account

- Identify the boxes, books, or other material you wand to review. Then make a request through your research account for those materials. If you submit your request before your visit, we will place the materials on hold so they are ready when you arrive in the reading room. Instructions for making requests are available here.

- Review the reading room guidelines.

- Bring a laptop and digital camera, if you would like to take notes or photographs.

- Bring a valid university-issued or government-issued photo ID.

- Review additional visitor information:



- Sign in at the Welcome Desk, located on the 1st floor of Hornbake Library North, adjacent to the Maryland Room.

- The staff member at the desk will provide you with a locker to store your belongings before going into the reading room. They can also answer any questions you may have about the reading room guidelines.

- Inside the reading room, the librarian will ask your name and bring out the materials you requested that have been placed on hold.

- If you have not placed a request ahead of time, the librarian can help you register for a special collections research account and make requests for special collections material.

- Inform the librarian if you need wireless access for your laptop/device.

- Use a digital camera to take photographs (no flash) for your research or ask the librarian about how to submit duplication orders. 

- Ask the reference librarian if you need help finding materials or you have questions about our policies.