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Onsite Services for Non-Princeton Researchers

Access to the Special Collections reading rooms in Firestone Library and the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library will be available starting October 18, 2021 on a limited basis to researchers outside of the Princeton University community. This includes alumni and affiliates. Access will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and you must be fully vaccinated according to the University’s Visitor Policy. Masks are required and must be worn appropriately over both your mouth and nose at all times while in library buildings. 

Appointments are required, and the following steps have been put in place so that we can effectively provide access within the University’s COVID guidelines.

For those researching in Firestone, this access is only for the Special Collections reading room, and will not include access to any other areas of Firestone Library at this time. 

  1. The first step is to contact us through the Ask Us! form to inquire about scheduling a visit. We will help you determine whether or not an in-person visit is the best option. We may be able to assist you more quickly through digitization or one of our virtual services. 
  2. Once it has been determined that an in-person visit is necessary, we will ask you to complete a Sponsored Visitor Request Form, where you will attest to being fully vaccinated. We will send you this form, and we will not accept forms sponsored by anyone else at the University. The sponsorship must go through Special Collections.
  3. Once the form is approved, we will work with you to book an appointment for an upcoming visit. There will be four appointment slots available each day in Special Collections in Firestone and four in Special Collections in Mudd. You will need to book separate appointment times for Mudd and Firestone reading rooms. 

You should not make any travel arrangements without first booking your research appointment with us. Once each day’s four appointments are booked, we can not book any more appointments for that day. You should contact us well in advance of your intended visit. It can take a week or more from first contact to booking an appointment. We will not be able to accommodate same-day access requests. You also make your travel arrangements at your own risk as spikes in COVID cases on campus or in New Jersey may force us to again limit access with little notice.

The appointments will be for a full day of research. All appointments will begin at 9am. You will not have access to either library building, so you must arrive promptly for your appointment time. You must be at the front entrance to Firestone or Mudd Library before 9am to begin your appointment. We recommend that you arrive a few minutes early. Should you not be able to make the 9am access time, the next time we will be able to provide entry to the building is at 1pm. Should you need to leave the building at any point before 1pm, the next time you will be able to return is 1pm. If you need to leave the building after 1pm, access will not be available again until your next appointment day. 

Each time you enter the building, you will need to show staff your signed visitor form to gain entrance. You can show either a digital copy on a device or a paper printout. If you do not have an appointment, or you do not have your signed visitor form, you will not be given access to the building.

We highly recommend that you register for a Special Collections Research Account and request materials ahead of your visit. A number of our collections are stored in our off-site storage facility and can take 48-72 hours to arrive on site. You can use the finding aids database or library catalog to find and request materials. You will be able to have 1-6 items at a time at your reading room desk depending on the format. Staff will review with you how best to handle each item during your visit. 

Once everything above is in place, we recommend reviewing our Reading Room Guidelines ahead of your visit to familiarize yourself with the research experience. You are welcome to take your own digital images of most of the collections. More details can be found on the Digital Camera Usage in the Reading Room page. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we begin the process of welcoming outside researchers back to campus.