For more information about accessing our collections in-person or remotely.
To view materials or place duplication orders from the collection.
To view materials in the reading room.
Reading room locations, what to expect, and more.
Fees, citations, and other guidelines for requesting copies of special collections materials.
The University of Maryland Libraries welcomes all researchers to our special collections libraries:
Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library
Appointments are encouraged to visit our reading rooms. Schedule a reading room appointment online.
All researchers requesting materials from the special collections libraries at the University of Maryland are required to register for a Special Collections Account.
Once you register, submit reading room requests and requests for copies directly from your account using our discovery tools, including:
Need help? Contact us.
All researchers requesting materials from the special collections libraries at the University of Maryland are required to register for a Special Collections Account. With a Special Collections Account you will be able to:
Special collections contain both primary and secondary resource materials that have characteristics which set them apart from other types of collections in libraries. These qualities may include:
Special collection materials are non-circulating and located in closed stacks. Onsite access to special collections materials is provided in the special collections reading rooms.
The Special Collections and University Archives reading room is located in the Maryland Room (1202) in Hornbake Library North.
The Special Collections in the Performing Arts reading room is located in the The Lowens Room (1517) in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.
Due to their rarity, condition, and value, Special Collections and University Archives materials do not circulate.
Digital cameras (no flash) and phone photography are allowed in the reading room and can be used to make personal research copies of materials. Overhead scanners are available in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library for copying books collections, depending on their age and condition. You cannot scan archival collections on the overhead scanner.
It is also possible to arrange for digital copies of materials. Read more about our duplication policies.
If you are unable to visit, you can submit a duplication order for special collections materials remotely, using your Special Collections Account. Duplication orders are subject to the following conditions: physical condition of the materials, limited staff and resources, donor-imposed restrictions, or other rights related issues. Before requesting copies of special collections materials, review our duplication policies.
Contact us with questions about requesting copies of special collections materials.
To view special collections materials in person, submit a request using your Special Collections Account.
Before placing a request to view Special Collections & University Archives materials in the reading room, schedule an appointment to visit the reading room online.
Log in to your Special Collections Account and use the links in the menu to locate materials from the online catalog, archival finding aids, or digital collections.
Selecting one of these options will direct you to the discovery tool, where you can search our collections. Use the 'Request from Special Collections' links in the item record to initiate your request.
Contact us for assistance searching or requesting materials.
Yes, you can request to view up to 12 items/boxes at a time.
Once you have reviewed your first 12 items/boxes, you are able to make additional requests.
You can plan ahead and save additional requests in your Special Collections Account. Select Keep for My Review when submitting the request. Once you are ready to submit more requests, you can log into your account and submit these saved requests to reading room staff for retrieval.
Contact us if you plan to request a large number of items/boxes from our collections so we can help you maximize your time in the reading room.
The "Library" field identifies the reading room where the items are physically located.
Choose “Maryland Room” if you are requesting an item from Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library.
Choose "Special Collections in the Performing Arts" if you are requesting materials in the Performing Arts Library, including:
Get ready to visit the reading room!
If you have not already done so, schedule an appointment to visit the reading room.
If you placed a request to view materials from Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library, visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library.
If you placed a request for materials from Special Collections in Performing Arts and the International Piano Archives at Maryland, visit the reading room in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.
If you submitted a duplication order, special collections staff will begin processing the order and reach out to you if more information is needed.
You can track the status of your request/duplication order in your Special Collections Account. As your request is being processed by special collections staff, you notice the status change in your account.
Here are a few examples:
Log into your Special Collections Research Account and select “My Requests” in the menu. The status of your request(s) will appear in “Status” column.
Submitting a request does not automatically schedule a reading room appointment. We encourage all researchers to schedule a reading room appointment online.
Most duplication orders can take up to 3 weeks to complete. Large or complex orders, including duplication of A/V materials, may take additional time. Consult with special collections staff about the estimate delivery timeframe before submitting your order. Rush orders can be requested, but are not guaranteed.
Once your order is completed, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download your order from your Special Collections Account.
Contact us if you have any questions regarding your duplication order.