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Virtual Services


Special Collections Public Services Team
The Special Collections Public Services Team

We know that there is no substitute for engaging with primary sources and rare collections in person. We eagerly await the day when we can again welcome all researchers safely back to campus. Until then, we will be focusing our attention on exploring and developing new ways of experiencing our collections through expanded virtual services. 

Staff are again able to access the physical collections, housed in Firestone Library and look forward to providing access through several service points depending on your needs (Note: The Mudd Library building is currently closed for renovation. While we move the collections back into the building, access will be extremely limited. We encourage you to explore the digital options listed below at this time.) 

You can start your own search as you always have through our various online discovery tools:

  • Use the Finding Aids Database to locate more information about archival material.
    Use the Online Catalog to locate books and manuscripts.
    Many of our digitized materials can be found in these resources.

  • DPUL and PUDL, are also both great ways to browse some of our digitized collections

  • Looking for a senior thesis or dissertation?  It may already be digitized and available through DataSpace or ProQuest.

Should you continue to have questions, the best next step is to reach out to us through our Ask Us! form. Our experienced staff will follow up to help guide you to the best service option for your request. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evolve our services during this time. 

Virtual Reference

If you are interested in a Virtual Reference conversation, which includes the option of video chat, allowing staff to show collections materials in real-time or guide you through our online resources, reach out to us via the Ask Us! form for more information.

Instructional Services

Our Instructional Services program continues to provide Princeton University courses with virtual and on-site classroom experiences using Special Collections material. For an overview of our services or to schedule a consultation, visit the Instruction Services page.

On Demand Digitization

Our digitization program will continue to provide you the option of receiving digital copies of collection materials. Visit our digitization and publication services page for more information. Our colleagues throughout the department are also working hard to develop or expand online access in a number of ways.

Limited On-site Access for the Princeton Community

For the health and safety of our staff and the entire Princeton community, we will only be able to accommodate on-site visits from Princeton University faculty, students and staff who are authorized to be on campus during the Spring 2021 semester. This limited access will be by appointment only. Those wishing to visit our reading room must make an appointment and request materials at least three business days in advance. More information can be found on our 2020-2021 Visits page. 

The following online resources continue to be available to assist you with your virtual research: