Today: Special Collections in Hornbake CLOSED

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.

Schedule an in-person appointment    Contact us with your research question

Search the Collections

Search the collections to locate materials of interest for your research. Topics represented in our collections include 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.

There are multiple ways you can search our collections.

  • Archival Collections
    • Search archival collections by keyword, names and dates to locate materials of interest. 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 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.
  • Digital Collections
    • Search digitized material from our collections.
  • 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. 

Register Online

Register online for a Special Collections Account

Once you register, you will be able to manage your research online:

  • Request materials from the collections.
  • Submit requests for copies and download completed orders. 
  • View and track the status of requests and orders.

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

Schedule an Appointment

Appointments are required to view Special Collections & University Archives collections in-person.

All researchers who schedule an appointment must register for a Special Collections Account and place requests to view materials in the reading room prior to their scheduled appointment. 

Schedule an appointment online:

  • Schedule your appointment at least 1 week in advance.
  • If you are unable to schedule an appointment, walk-in researchers are welcome Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
    • Walk-in days are listed in the reading room hours in Hornbake Library.
    • Some collections, including those located offsite in Severn Library may take additional time to make available in the reading room, and may not be available immediately for walk in researchers.
  • Remote reference services are available to researchers unable to visit the reading room in person. 

If you need assistance, Special Collections & University Archives staff are available for virtual consultations. We can help you identify materials of interest and provide instructions on how to place requests for your visit. Contact us for information.

Request Material

Once you have searched the collections and identified materials of interest, registered for an account, and scheduled an appointment to visit the reading room, you can place a request to view those items from your Special Collections Account.

Materials in our collections are non-circulating and must be viewed in our reading room. 

  • Some collections, including those located offsite in Severn Library may take additional time to make available in the reading room, and may not be available immediately for walk in researchers. 

For more information on how to request materials from our collections, review the Guide for Requesting Materials from Special Collections & University Archives

  • Place requests at least 3 days prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Some collections, including those located offsite in Severn Library may take additional time to make available in the reading room.​​

You may request up to 12 boxes/items at a time. You can make additional requests after you have finished viewing your first 12 boxes.

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. Contact us for information about requesting copies from the collections.


Track the Status of Your Requests

Once you place your requests, you can check the status anytime from your Special Collections Account.

  • Item On Hold: 
    • Your request is ready to view in the reading room and will remain so until your scheduled appointment.
  • Awaiting Item Delivery: 
    • Your duplication order being worked on by staff. You will receive an email once the order is completed.
  • Awaiting Request Processing - Reading Room: 
    • Your request for viewing materials in the reading room has been received.
  • Awaiting Request Processing - Duplication: 
    • Your request for a duplication order has been received.
  • Awaiting User Review: 
    • Your request has NOT been received. Log into your account to select the "Unsubmitted Requests" menu option. Follow in the instructions to submit your request.
  • In Retrieval: 
    • Your request is currently being processed by staff.

View Materials in the Reading Room

Visit the appropriate reading room to view the items you have requested.


Frequently Asked Questions    Have a Question? Contact Us!