You are here

How can I access Special Collections?

All are welcome to visit and research in Special Collections. No advance notice or appointments are required. You are welcome to walk in and join us at any point during our open hours.

We recommend researchers create a Special Collections Research Account to submit online requests for material in advance of their visit. 

Material can be requested through the Princeton University Finding Aids and/or Catalog. We encourage you to submit your requests at least 2 business days in advance to ensure that any offsite items will be here when you need them. We will page up to 6 items at a time once you have arrived and been signed into the reading room. If you are having any issues with registering or requesting materials, we can assist you via email or when you arrive.

Upon your first visit to the library, you will need to check in with the access office on the first floor of Firestone Library in order to obtain an Access Card. Researchers will be asked to present a photo ID like a driver’s license, passport, school ID or work ID. It is not necessary to use a government-issued ID. Once your Access Card has been issued, please take the stairs / elevator down to C-floor, where you will find the Special Collections department.

As a reminder, all food, drink, and personal belongings (such as bags, coats, laptop sleeves, pens, books, notebooks) must be stowed in the lockers available just outside the department. You are welcome to bring your laptop or tablet, but we will provide you with paper and pencils for handwritten notes.

You are also welcome to bring a camera, cell phone or other device to take pictures of the collection, but please leave any camera cases in your locker with other personal items. Please also be aware that due to preservation concerns, we do not allow the use of personal scanners, tripods, flash, or copy stands. 

To respect fellow researchers, we kindly ask you to remember to turn off any audible notifications on your devices when in the Reading Room. For more information please visit the Reading Room Guidelines page on our website.

Researchers can also request material be digitized and emailed to them as high quality reproductions. Requests must be less than 300 pages and will be provided at no cost to the researcher. For more information on digitization services please see the Digitization and Publication Services page on our website.