How to Request Materials

This page contains information about how to request materials for on-site research. If you are interested in scans or other reproductions, see our How to Order Copies page.

If you are coming to our secure research room to view a book or other item described in the online catalog, select the “Request” button on the right hand-side of the catalog record. Library staff will retrieve the requested materials for you to view once you have arrived on site. If you have not yet created a researcher account, selecting this button will prompt you to create one.

Red arrow pointing to "Request" button on an online catalog record

Similarly, if you are coming to view material described in an online finding aid, select the “Request this Collection” button towards the upper left-hand corner of the finding aid.

Red arrow pointing to "Request this Collection" button on an online finding aid

Once you have selected the request button, you will be directed to our Request System’s Sign On Page. If you have not already registered, select your affiliation and continue with the registration process. If you have already registered, sign in to your account using your Onyen, NetID, or username and password. We share this patron registration and request system with Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and they have different policies and procedures for handling requested material. Please contact that library for details.

After you have signed in, you will be presented with a page containing information about your request. In those instances when you are interested in viewing a portion of a collection or a specific volume from a series, you will need to narrow your request:

  • For archival materials use the “Container Number(s)” field:

Indicate containers needed in Container Number(s) field. Determine containers using relevant online finding aid.

  • For monographs and serials use the “Volume/Copy” field:

If applicable, indicate the volume or copy needed in the Volume/Copy field. Determine volume or copy using relevant online catalog.

To finalize your request, you need to schedule a date and submit your request:
Indicate the date you plan to visit and press the Submit Request button. Consult our online hours page before scheduling.

We reserve the right to limit the number of appointments booked by a researcher should demand exceed capacity.

If you have any questions or concerns about the materials you have requested, please email our research staff at