Today: Special Collections in Hornbake 10:00AM - 05:00PM

Start Your Special Collections Research

Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland Libraries welcomes students and researchers, including members of the general public, to use our collections.

Register Online

To begin, register online for a Special Collections Account

With an account, you will be able to manage your research online. You will be able to:

  • Request materials online 
  • Schedule your visit so material is on hold for you when you arrive
  • Submit duplication orders and download duplication orders 
  • View and track the status of requests and orders

This account allows you to request materials from all Special Collections on campus, including the Special Collections and University Archives and the Special Collections in Performing Arts.

There are multiple ways you can search our collections, including:

  • Archival Collections - Search our archival collection finding aids by keyword, names and dates to locate materials. This is a great place to discover many of the primary sources in our collections.

  • Library Catalog - Search WorldCat or the Classic Catalog to discover our books, periodicals, magazines and many other types of material in our collections. This is where you can find many secondary sources, in addition to primary sources, on topics including University of Maryland, the state of Maryland, labor unions and social movements, broadcasting and journalism, historic preservation, literature, rare books, post-World War II Japanese history, and much more.

  • Digital Collections - Search digitized material from our collections, including primary and secondary source materials.

  • Maryland Map Database - Search our map collections for historic maps from the state of Maryland and beyond.

You can also explore our Research Guides to explore material in our collections on a particular topic like the Civil War, immigration, labor history, the environment, or literature.

Request Material

Once you have identified materials you are interested in, place a request to view those items using your Special Collections Account.

  • You are encouraged to place a request prior to your visit.
    • Some material may be located offsite or require additional screening, and may take up to 4 days to retrieve.
  • A librarian can also help you place requests when you visit the reading room.

You may request up to 12 boxes/items.

  • You can make additional requests in the reading room after you have finished viewing your first 12 boxes.
  • To save time, you can save additional requests to your account by selecting 'Keep for My Review' under "My Notes" in the request form.
    • Once you are ready to view more boxes/items, these "Unsubmitted Requests" can be submitted to Special Collections staff by selecting "Edit Request", then "Schedule Retrieval" in your Special Collections Account

Special collections materials are located in closed stacks and do not circulate outside the reading room.

  • When you place your request, staff will retrieve the items and place them on hold for you in the reading room.
  • If you are not able to visit the reading room in person, you may be able to request copies of special collection material. 

Follow the instructions below to request materials from Special Collections:

  1. Locate items in the archival collection you would like to request. 
     
    • Requests are made at the box level only. Once you identify a folder or item you wish to view, you must request the entire box that it is located within.
       
  2. Click "Request Box”, located at the top of the record.
     
  3. A new page will open to show you the contents of the box you are requesting. Verify this is correct and click “Request Box” to confirm.
     
  4. You will be prompted to sign in to your Special Collections Account
     
  5. Complete your request by selecting the item(s) you wish to use, choose a date for your visit, and click “Submit Information”.
     
    • Your request will not be submitted to Special Collections staff until you select a date and click "Submit Information".
    • You can also choose to keep you request as an "Unsubmitted Requests" in your account and submit it at a later date. This is helpful if you have already reached your limit of 12 active requests.

Please Note:

  • If requesting copies, open the request from the “Request in Processing” menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Select “Clone to Copy” at the top and fill out the duplication request form.
     
  • Materials located offsite in Severn Library may take up to 4 business days to be made available in the reading room. Collections located offsite in Severn Library are identified in the Additional Information section of the finding aid.
     
  • Material from unprocessed collections will require staff assistance request. Collections are identified as unprocessed in the Use and Access to Collection section of the finding aid. Contact us to request to view material from an unprocessed collection.
     
  1. Locate items you would like to view.
     
    • Material located in Special Collections and University Archives will have the location "UMCP HBK Maryland Room", "UMCP Severn Library Special Collections" or "UMCP Severn Library University Archives" listed in the record. 
       
  2. Click on "Request from Special Collections" under "Collection Availability".
     
  3. You will be prompted to sign in to your Special Collections Account.
     
  4. Once you sign in, a request page will appear with the item information. Verify that the information is correct and include specific volume, issue and/or date information. Include any additional helpful information in the "Special Requests" field of the form.
     
    • To request copies, select "Switch to Duplication Order" at the top and complete the form.
       
  5. Schedule your visit by selecting a date for your visit. 
     
  6. Click “Submit Request”.

Please Note:

  • Some collections may require more time to retrieve. You will receive a notification about advanced scheduling, unprocessed collections, and offsite requests, when applicable.
     
  • Materials located offsite in Severn Library may take up to 4 business days to be made available in the reading room. Items located offsite in Severn Library will be identified in the location field of the catalog record.
     
  1. Locate items you would like to view. 
     
    • Material located in Special Collections and University Archives will have the location "UMCP HBK", "UMCP Severn Library Special Collections" or "UMCP Severn Library University Archives" in the "Location" of the record.
       
  2. Click "Request from Special Collections".
     
  3. You will be prompted to sign in to your Special Collections Account.
     
  4. Once you sign in, a page will appear with the item information. Verify that the information is correct and include specific volume, issue, and/or date information. Include any additional helpful information in the "Special Requests" field of the form.
     
    • To request copies, select "Switch to Duplucation Order" at the top and complete the form.
       
  5. Schedule your visit by selecting a date for your visit.
     
  6. Click “Submit Request”.

Please Note:

  • Some collections may require more time to retrieve. You will receive a notification about advanced scheduling, unprocessed collections, and offsite requests, when applicable.
     
  • Materials located offsite in Severn Library may take up to 4 business days to be made available in the reading room. Items located offsite in Severn Library will be identified in the location field of the catalog record.
     

 

Track the Status of Your Requests

Once you place your request(s), you can check the status anytime from your Special Collections Account.

  • Requested items listed as "Item on Hold" are ready for you to view in the reading room.
  • Duplication orders will be included in the "Delivered Items" menu once they are complete and ready to be downloaded.

View Materials in the Reading Room

Visit the appropriate reading room to view the items you have requested. The librarian at the desk will ask for your name, bring out the materials you have requested, and explain guidelines for handling materials.

Materials from Special Collections and University Archives, including books and archival materials, can be accessed in the Maryland Room, the reading room located in Hornbake Library North.

Materials from Special Collections in Performing Arts and the International Piano Archives at Maryland are accessed in the Lowens Room in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.