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. 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 below for information about what to expect when visiting and learn about our Reading Room policies.
The Special Collections reading room is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 12-4pm and Thursday from 12-7pm.
Use the online scheduling service to reserve an on-site research appointment. Appointments are required during the exam period, Spring Break, and the Winter and Summer sessions. Appointments are suggested, but not required, during the Fall and Spring semesters.
Using Special Collections
The introductory videos below provide an overview of what to expect when visiting Special Collections at UMBC, including our policies, usage procedures, and services.
Reading Room Policies
All researchers must register to use Special Collections by filling out a registration form and presenting a photo ID for copying.
- All coats, bags, and personal belonging not required for research must be left in the locker area. A coat rack and lockers are available for use.
- Pens, food, and drinks are prohibited; please leave these items with your personal belongings. Pencils, notes, laptops, cameras, and phones may be used to take notes. Please silence your phone and take any phone calls in the Library Gallery.
- Collections materials can only be used in the Reading Room. Storage areas, including the book stacks, are not open for browsing. Request materials using provided call slips.
- All materials must be handled with care. Please use provided handling instructions. Clean, dry hands are required; a restroom is available in the Library Gallery.
- Researchers are required to adhere to all copyright laws.
- Cameras may be used, according to guidelines outlined in our Camera Use Policy.
- Requests for digital scans or files can be submitted using the digital imaging form (PDF). Please complete and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Researchers can provide complete citation information for their digitization request using a form specific to publications, photographs, audiovisual items, archival materials, or a multi-format request.
- Payment for services can be submitted using the credit card form (PDF). Please complete and send to email@example.com
The Special Collections reading room is located in the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. When you enter the Library, the Library Gallery will be to your left; proceed through the to the Gallery to the back right corner, where you will see a set of double doors to enter Special Collections.
Directions to the Library
From the north (via I-95)
Take Interstate 95 South to Route 166 (Exit 47B, Catonsville); Follow the signs to UMBC. Use the third exit from the traffic circle to access Hilltop Circle, then turn right on Walker Avenue.
From the north (via the Baltimore Beltway)
Take Interstate 83 to the Baltimore Beltway (I-695, west) and then take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue, MD-372 west). Turn left on Wilkens Avenue, then turn left on Walker Avenue.
From the south
Take Interstate 95 North to Route 166 (Exit 47B, Catonsville); follow signs to UMBC. Use the third exit from the traffic circle to access Hilltop Circle, then turn right on Walker Avenue.
Pay and display visitor and handicapped parking is available at the bottom of Walker Avenue and on the top-level of the Walker Avenue Garage. Parking is $2.00 per hour and payable by MasterCard, Visa or exact currency (no change provided). Meters are enforced Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All other campus roadways and unmetered lots require a UMBC parking permit.
Note: Other metered and handicapped parking is available in garages located on Administration Drive and The Commons Drive. For more information, please visit UMBC Parking Services.
Route 37 LocalLink Bus – Old Court Metro / UMBC
Route 76 LocalLink Bus – City Hall / UMBC / Southwest Park & Ride
Yellow CityLink Bus – Mondawmin / UMBC
For Metro, Light Rail, and MARC trains (Penn Line), see the MTA Service Update Center.
For UMBC shuttle buses, see the UMBC Transit website.