How to Access our Materials

We are now open with a new reading room and instruction room in renovated space on the 6th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library.

 

How to register as a user

You must be a registered user to request and use material held by the Special Collections Library. This one-time registration process includes the creation of a Special Collections Request Account. With that online account, you can:

  • submit requests for collection material online;
  • submit requests in advance of a visit to the Special Collections Library;
  • track the status of submitted requests; and
  • access detailed information about past requests.

Registration means that you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions governing access to and use of Special Collections Library material.

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Registration for users affiliated with the University of Michigan

(users with an active “uniqname” and password)

  1. Navigate to the Special Collections Request Account main menu page.
  2. Log in with your uniqname and password.
  3. Respond to prompt to accept terms and conditions governing access to and use of Special Collections Library materials.
  4. Once you have clicked “Accept...”, your account will be created and you will be registered as a user of the Special Collections Library.  You will be directed to your account’s main menu, which lists your outstanding requests and displays the option “Logoff [your username]”.  If you are not directed to this main menu page, please contact special.collections@umich.edu for assistance.

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Registration for users not affiliated with the University of Michigan

(users without an active “uniqname.”  If you have an active “Friend” account, skip to step 2, below.)

  1. Create a U-M guest computing account - a “Friend” account - by following the instructions available online, here.  Please note that creating a “Friend” account is a multi-step process and requires access to an email account.  Your email address will become your “Friend” account username.
  2. Navigate to the Special Collections Request Account main menu page.
  3. Log in with your “Friend” account username (email address) and password.
  4. Respond to the prompt to accept terms and conditions governing access to and use of Special Collections Library materials.
  5. Enter your information into the “New User Registration” form and click “Submit.”
  6. Once you have submitted this information, your account is created and you are registered as a user of the Special Collections Library.  You will be directed to your account’s main menu, which lists your outstanding requests and displays the option “Logoff [your username]”.  If you are not directed to this main menu page, please contact special.collections@umich.edu for assistance.

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How to Request Materials

Our collections are varied in format and nature, and so we use a few different tools to describe or index them.  As a result, there are a few different ways to request materials from the Special Collections Library.

To request materials through any of these online tools, you must be a registered user and have a Special Collections Request Account (please see above section, "How to Register as a User”).

Requesting cataloged materials (materials listed in Mirlyn)

  1. Identify and navigate to the Mirlyn catalog record for an item you’re interested in using (example record: http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/000832676)
  2. Click on the “Request this” button (under the “Holdings” tab).
  3. Log in, if not already authenticated.
  4. Complete the reading room request form*, including your visit date, and click the “Submit” button.

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Requesting archival material (materials listed in our online finding aids)

**Most of our archival materials are housed off-site and require at least 4 days advance requesting in order to retrieve boxes for use in our reading room.  Some other materials stored more remotely will require more time for retrieval.  Our staff will contact you if materials will not be ready by your preferred visit date.**

  1. On the Special Collections Library homepage, in the main navigation menu, click the link for “Finding Aids.”
  2. Choose a finding aid for a particular collection or set of papers and navigate to it by clicking on the name.
  3. Once in the finding aid, click the link that says “Request Material From This Collection for Use in the Special Collections Library.” You will be prompted to log into your Special Collections Request Account.
  4. The finding aid will appear with a list of checkboxes for each archival container/box.  A detailed content list of each container/box can be viewed by clicking the “Expand All” link. Click on a checkbox to select particular container(s)/box(es) to request. If a single container/box number is repeated in the selection list, it only needs to be checked once for the entire container/box to be retrieved.
  5. Complete the archival reading room request form**, including your visit date, and click the “Submit” button.

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Requesting Labadie Collection Subject Vertical Files (materials listed in the Joseph A. Labadie Collection’s index of subject folders)

  1. From the Joseph A. Labadie Collection’s homepage, in the main navigation menu, click the link for “Finding Aids and Indexes.”
  2. From this list of indexes, select “Index of Subject Folders (Subject Vertical Files).”
  3. On the page describing the Subject Vertical Files (SVFs), in the line reading “Click here for a searchable list from which you can request folders for use in our Reading Room,” follow the link by clicking the word “here.”
  4. The page that loads will look very similar; scroll down to see the searchable list and to enter keywords for searching.
  5. Once you have identified a folder heading that you would like to use in the reading room, click the “Request this” link next to that heading.
  6. Complete the reading room request form*, including your visit date, and click the “Submit” button.

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Requesting un-cataloged/un-indexed materials

  1. Log in to your Special Collections Request Account.
  2. In the navigation menu, under “New Reading Room Requests” click "Request Uncataloged Materials."
  3. Once in the “New  Request” form, enter the details of your request. Please complete the required fields - Title and Call Number (enter “None” if not known) - and any other details or description such as number of volumes or box number.  
  4. Complete the reading room request form**, including your visit date, and click the “Submit” button.

*To request duplication of a cataloged or SVF item, click on the “Switch to duplication request” link on the reading room request form.

**To request duplication of archival materials or un-cataloged/un-indexed materials, navigate to your request account and, under the menu “Duplication,” click “Request Duplication.”  Enter as much information as possible into this form, and submit.

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Your visit to the Reading Room

Planning your visit

All readers are welcome to consult our materials in our reading room during our regular hours.

We are now open with a new reading room and instruction room in renovated space on the 6th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library.

Researchers from out of town will find lots of information about visiting Ann Arbor and the University on our Campus Information Center’s website.

Our stacks are not open for browsing, so researchers will need to request material which staff will then retrieve. Requested material can be consulted within the reading room only. Use of some Special Collections Library material may be subject to restrictions.

Since some of our material is stored offsite and may require additional time for retrieval, we encourage you to submit your requests or contact us in advance of your visit.

You are also welcome to arrange a consultation with one of our curators.

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Using the Reading Room

Please see our terms and conditions governing the use of Special Collections Library materials, and we also suggest that you consult our updated Reading Room hours when planning your visit.

Signing in

Readers who have not yet registered and requested material via our online system will need to do so (see above, “Registration”).  Information collected in conjunction with the use of a Special Collections Request Account may be retained indefinitely and will not be shared unless required by law.

All readers will be asked to submit a piece of personal identification (with photo) to the staff member at the front desk when using materials. It will be retained until all collection materials have been returned to the desk and the reader is signing out of the reading room.

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Personal items/Lockers

Permitted: Pencils, laptops and other electronic devices, cameras, small amounts of personal research  materials (notes, etc.), scanners (with pre-approval from Special Collections Library staff).

Not permitted: food, drink, pens, bags of any kind (including laptop sleeves), coats, larger amounts of personal research materials (notes, etc.), scanners (except with pre-approval from Special Collections Library staff).

Lockers are provided for researchers to store any personal items they are not permitted to bring into the Reading Room.  Notebooks, laptops, and other personal items required for research are subject to inspection by Special Collections Library staff.

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Technology

University affiliates can use the MWireless network with their regular uniqname and password. Any member of the public is welcome to use the open wireless network, MGuest. Upon opening a browser, they will need to submit an email address, but then will have open access to all web resources.

A copystand for patrons’ own cameras is available photography use.  We also have an iPad and accompanying copystand that can be used for patron photography or Special Collections Request Account access.

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Use and handling of materials

Readers will have one item (book, box, subject vertical file, etc.) checked-out to them at a time.  Physical arrangement for use and handling instructions specific to each item will be provided by Reading Room staff.  For archival material, please retain the order of the materials contained in the box or folder and keep each document flat on the reading room table as you work with it.

Photography of fragile materials will require approval from staff, and staff may also provide specific instructions for handling materials while photographing.

Materials must be returned to the reading room desk before closing. For continuing work, items can be placed on hold.

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Duplication services

All information about our copying or reproduction of collection materials can be found on our duplication services webpage.

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Classes Using the Reading Room

At times, students who attended classes led by Special Collections Library staff will have the opportunity to use the reading room for independent or group study with the materials related to their class visit. Preliminary information will be collected from the staff instructor such as syllabi and/or assignment details and shared with Reading Room staff.

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For Students

If your instructor has arranged for materials to be put on hold for you to use, please make sure to bring the following information with you when you come to the Reading Room:

  1. Your photo ID (MCard is most helpful).
  2. Your course number (e.g., History 202) and/or instructor name.

Please note that, while Reading Room staff is happy to assist with the consultation of our collection materials, questions about assignments or interpretation of materials are best directed to your instructor.

Students will find more useful information about visiting the Reading Room in the above section, “Using the Reading Room.”

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For Instructors

Instruction sessions and arrangements for course/assignment-specific materials to be put on hold for students to use in the Reading Room can be requested using our online form.  This form should be submitted at least two weeks before the requested session date or beginning date of Reading Room holds.

In making arrangements for materials to be put on hold for students to use in the Reading Room, please also provide a class roster to the Special Collections Library staff instructor so that registration and access by students can be expedited before they visit the Reading Room. In doing so, students’ experiences will be much more rewarding and efficient as the majority of their time will be spent exploring the materials rather than going through the registration and orientation processes.

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Page maintained by Kate Hutchens
Last modified: 09/12/2017