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Requesting Materials from Schlesinger Library

Getting Started

The Schlesinger Library building is closed for renovation until September 12, 2019. From now until August 9, researchers can access the Library’s collections, by appointment, via a temporary Reading Room in Fay House, Radcliffe Yard. Please note that collections being returned to onsite storage will unavailable beginning July 24.

Because collections are either stored off-site or are being returned to onsite vaults and seating in the temporary reading room will be limited, advance notice of at least 3-4 business days will be required. Advance notice helps ensure offsite materials are delivered in time for a visit.

You will find more information about how to make your request in this research guide.

Update: The Schlesinger Library will complete the final phase of its renovation project between August 10 and September 11. As the collections will be in transit and staff will be moving locations, the Library will be closed and services to researchers will be unavailable from August 10 to September 11. The Library will return to its regular schedule, Monday–Saturday, 9 AM–5 PM, on Thursday, September 12. We regret this inconvenience to researchers and look forward to welcoming you in our newly renovated library. If you have questions, please contact us at

How do I schedule a visit?

Since the temporary Reading Room has limited seating, appointments are required. Please send your request to us through our Ask a Schlesinger Librarian form at least 3-4 business days in advance so we can confirm there is a seat available for you. 

What if something comes up and I can't make my scheduled appointment?

Since seating in the Reading Room is limited, please contact us as soon as possible to reschedule so we can open the seat up to another researcher.

What information do I need to include in my request?

Please explore the left navigation menu for more detailed information about requesting different kinds of materials. In general, you will need to include the following for any items you request:

  • Your name and e-mail address 

  • The proposed dates of your visit

  • The title of the item or collection you are requesting

  • Archival or Manuscript materials: You will also need to include box and/or folder identifiers, which can be determined using the collection's finding aid. You will find more detailed information about how to locate identifiers in the Requesting Archival Collections section.
    Note: There are some archival collections that do not have finding aids, in which case only the title and call number will be necessary.

  • Published materials: Please include the item's permalink and barcode and/or call number. More detailed information about requesting published materials is included in the Requesting Books, Periodicals, and Published Materials section