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Requesting Materials from Schlesinger Library

Getting Started

The Schlesinger Library building is closed for renovation until September 2019. Beginning November 7, 2018, researchers will be able to access the Library’s collections by appointment in a temporary Reading Room located in Fay House, Radcliffe Yard  Since all collections will be stored off-site for the duration of the project and seating in the temporary Reading Room will be limited, please contact us at least 3-4 business days in advance of your proposed visit so we can review your request, schedule your visit, and arrange for the delivery of offsite materials.

Update: The Schlesinger Library will complete the final phase of its renovation project between August 10 and September 2. As the collection will be in transit and staff will be moving locations, the Library’s Reading Room will be closed and services to researchers will be largely unavailable from August 10 to September 7. The Library will return to its routine schedule, Monday–Saturday, 9 AM–5 PM, on Monday, September 9. 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