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Requesting Materials from Special Collections & University Archives

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

About this Guide

Welcome to the Guide Requesting Materials from Special Collections & University Archives

This guide provides information on how to:

  • Submit requests to view items from special collections (in-person) in the reading room.
  • Place orders for copies of items from special collections.

Register for a Special Collections Account and submit your requests/orders directly from our discovery tools, including:

Need help submitting a request or order? Contact us.

Helpful Information

What is a Special Collections Account?

All researchers consulting materials from Special Collections at UMD 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 prior to visiting the reading room
  • Submit duplication orders and download electronically delivered files
  • 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 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.

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

Yes, you can request to view up to 12 items at a time.

You are able to make additional requests once you have finished viewing your first 12 items.

To save additional requests in your account until you are ready to submit to reading room staff, select Keep for My Review when submitting the request.

What should I choose in the “Library” field?

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:

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.

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.

How do I know when my request is ready?

You can track the status of your request in your Special Collections Account. 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 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” in the menu. The status of your request(s) will appear in “Status” column.