Research in Special Collections

We have resumed on-site services in addition to remote support to all researchers. For assistance with research, accessing collection materials, or preparing instruction, please contact the Special Collections staff directly. We can be reached by:

  • chat (select "Ask a Librarian" button on the right side of any webpage)
  • e-mail (
  • voicemail (410-455-2353)
  • online research consultation with an archivist (schedule a consultation here).

Use the online scheduling service to reserve an on-site research appointment. Appointments are available Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 12-4pm and Thursday 12-7pm.

Interested in remote instruction options? Please review our instruction page.

Looking for the Documenting COVID-19 at UMBC project? Learn more here.

Using Special Collections

Please click on the above link and read the guidelines before visiting. Note: The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, including the Special Collections Reading Room, is currently open by appointment only. Please use the contact methods listed above to reach us for assistance.

Finding materials

Use the resources below to search for materials held in the Special Collections department.

  • Library Catalog (catalogusmai): the main Library catalog contains records for the books, serials, theses and dissertations held in Special Collections. Use the "Named Collection" menu to narrow your results to a specific topic or format, for example Bafford (Photography books and serials).
  • Special Collections Search: this catalog searches only materials held in the Special Collections department, including photographs; archival collections; comics, fanzines, and pulps; and UMBC publications.
  • UMBC Digital Collections: a selection of digitized and born digital items from Special Collections. Highlights include the Lewis Hine child labor photographs, Hughes Company glass negatives collection, UMBC photographs and publications, and the Joseph L. Arnold manuscript, "History of Baltimore: 1729-1920."
  • Browse all finding aids
  • Browse by subjects and material format

Research guides

Citing primary sources

The Library offers several guides to help you cite your sources:

  • Citing Sources: Learn why, where, when, what and how you should cite your sources. This guides also includes examples from several widely used citation styles and tutorials on using Zotero and EndNote.
  • Citing Primary Sources: Primary sources often require parts of a citation that you may not sound familiar if you are used to citing articles and books. This guide provides examples of citations for photographs, archives, and audiovisual items from several style guides.

If you are using an image of an item from Special Collections in your research, we ask that you include a credit line. Additional information about a credit line and is available on the Rights & Reproductions page.

Rights & Reproductions

Click the link above to learn more about requesting scans, photocopies, or permission to publish Special Collections materials.

Submit a question

Special Collections staff are happy to assist you with any questions that you might have about visiting and conducting research. We can be reached by:

  • chat (select "Ask a Librarian" button on the right side of any webpage)
  • e-mail (
  • voicemail (410-455-2353)
  • online research consultation with an archivist (schedule a consultation here).

Special Collections Services


Reading Room open by appointment

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