Visiting Special Collections

The Special Collections department is available to assist all interested researchers with each stage of a research project. Undergraduates, faculty, the general public, new and experienced researchers - all are welcome. Please see below for information about what to expect when visiting, our Reading Room policies, Rights & Reproduction, and scheduling a class instruction session/visit. Our hours, directions, and contact information are in the yellow box below.

Questions? Contact us at: 410-455-2353
Fax: 410-455-1567 

Special Collections Hours

Monday - Wednesday 1 - 4pm

Thursday 1 - 8pm

Friday 1 - 4pm

Appointments available Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 4:30pm. Contact: 410.455.2353 |

Intercession, Summer Term, and Winter Term open by appointment only. View semester hours

Directions to Special Collections

Directions to the Library

Once inside the Library, go through the security gates and make an immediate left into the Gallery. Go through the Gallery to the right and you will see the door Special Collections. The Reading Room is located through that door, in Room 104.

Contact Special Collections

  • phone (410-455-2353),
  • e-mail (,
  • chat (select "Ask a Librarian" button on the right side of any webpage),
  • or in person when the Reading Room is open (view semester hours).

View the telephone and e-mail information for Special Collections staff

Susan Graham, Special Collections Librarian

Lindsey Loeper, Acting Director and Curator

Robin Martin, Special Collections Technician

David Cunningham, Graduate assistant

Emily Somach, Contract Archivist, Maryland State Arts Council

Using Special Collections

Please watch our Visiting Special Collections video to see what to expect when visiting, including our policies, usage procedures, and services. Our diverse collections of rare books, photographs, manuscripts, archives and artifacts are available for research use by faculty, students, visiting scholars and the general public. All materials must be viewed on site in the reading room. A knowledgeable staff is available to assist researchers and to retrieve materials for study. Please see our policies below for more specific instructions.

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Reading Room Policies

  • All researchers must register to use Special Collections. This involves filling out a registration form and presenting a photo ID for copying.
  • All coats, bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks and other personal belongings not required for research must be left in the locker area. Free lockers are available.
  • You may use pencils and/or portable computers and other devices in the Reading Room. Pens are not allowed.
  • Please do not bring any food, drinks, or chewing gum -- they are not permitted in the Reading Room because they can damage the items in the collection.
  • Special Collections materials must be viewed in the Reading Room, they cannot be checked out.
  • For the security of the collections, researchers stay in the Reading Room and cannot browse the aisles. Our staff will help you find pertinent resources for your research. You may search and browse our materials online (See Research for more information). Researchers fill out a call slip for their desired materials and a staff member will retrieve the items for you and bring them to the Reading Room.
  • To ensure that the collections will be available to future as well as current patrons, we ask that certain special handling precautions be taken. A staff member will show you how to properly handle materials. General rules:
  • Please do not lean on, write on, fold, trace from, or handle materials in any way likely to damage them.
  • Photographs: Gloves are provided and must be worn to view original photographs. A staff member will demonstrate proper handling. Researchers may look at one box at a time.
  • Published works: Book cradles are used to protect the bindings. Light weights are available to keep pages open.
  • Archives: Researchers may view one box at a time and one folder at a time. Please keep all items in the original order within the folder. Please use the markers provided to mark the spot within the box where you pulled the folder, and to mark items in a folder -- please do not take items out of the folder and lose their place.
  • Other formats: A staff member will show you how to handle the materials and assist with handling when necessary.
  • The patron is responsible for adhering to all copyright laws.
  • Cameras may be used, according to the guidelines outlined in our Camera Use Policy.

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Rights & Reproductions

Special Collections staff can make scans or photocopies for you. For information about this service and about permissions to use materials, as well as associated fees, please see Rights & Reproduction.

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Special Collections offers many types of instruction sessions. Learn more about Special Collections instruction and Request an instruction session.

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The Special Collections department is available to assist all interested researchers with each stage of a research project. Undergraduates, faculty, the general public, new and experienced researchers - all are welcome. Please see our Research page to learn how to search and locate Special Collections research resources, guides to help you with your research, and how to cite your sources. Learn more...

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The Special Collections department is located on the first floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, in the back of the Gallery. Learn more...

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Special Collections Services


Special Collections Hours

Gallery Hours

Now Available

Color Our Collections: coloring book created from items in Special Collections