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How to Request Material from Special Collections & University Archives

A guide to help researchers request material from our Archival Collections database, WorldCatUM, and our Classic Catalog.


Welcome to the LibGuide on how to request to request materials from Special Collections & University Archives! This guide will provide information on how to:

  • Place requests to view materials in the reading room
  • Place orders for copies of material

Request can be made directly from the discovery tools, including the Online Catalog (Classic and Worldcat) and the Archives Collections Database.

What is a Special Collections Account?

All researchers using materials from Special Collections and University Archives must register for a Special Collections Account.

This account allows researchers to manage their research online. Once you register, you will be able to:

  • Request materials online
  • Schedule your requests
  • Submit duplication orders and download digital scanning orders online
  • View and track the status of requests and orders
  • Review your request history

How do I request materials from my account?

Before placing a request to view Special Collections & University Archives materials in the reading room, schedule an appointment online.

Log in to your Special Collections Account, then use the links in the left-hand side menu to locate and request materials from the online catalog, archival finding aids, digital collections or the Maryland Map collection.

Selecting one of these options will direct you to the catalog or database, where you can search for materials. Use the 'Request from Special Collections' links to initiate your request.

Contact us for assistance searching or requesting materials.

Is there a limit on how many items I can request to be pulled?

Yes, you can request up to 12 books or boxes at a time. You will be able to make additional requests once you have finished viewing your first 12 boxes.

Which Library should I choose on “Library” field on a new request form?

Choose “Maryland Room” if you are requesting an item from Special Collections and University Archives, which includes:

  • AFL-CIO Archive
  • Gordon W. Prange Collection
  • Literature and Rare Book Collections
  • Mass Media and Culture
  • National Trust Library (NTL) Collection
  • State of Maryland Collections
  • University Archives

Choose "Special Collections in the Performing Arts" if you are requesting materials from Special Collections in Performing Arts and the International Piano Archives at Maryland

I submitted my requests. What next?

Get ready to visit the reading room!

If you have not already done so, schedule an appointment to visit the reading room. 

Tracking Your Requests

As your request is being processed by our staff, you notice the status changes in your account. Here are a few examples:

  • Item On Hold: 
    • Your request is ready to view in the reading room and will remain so until your scheduled appointment.
  • Awaiting Item Delivery: 
    • Your duplication order being worked on by staff. You will receive an email once the order is completed.
  • Awaiting Request Processing - Reading Room: 
    • Your request has been received to view materials in the reading room
  • Awaiting Request Processing - Duplication: 
    • Your request for a duplication order has been received.
  • Awaiting User Review: 
    • Your request has NOT been received. ​​​​​​ Log into your account to select the "Unsubmitted Requests" menu option. Follow in the instructions to submit your request.
  • In Retrieval: 
    • Your request is currently being processed by staff.

Log into your Special Collections Research Account and select “My Requests” on the left-hand side menu. You can review the status of your request(s) in “Status” column.

Contact us with any questions about your requests.