Today: Special Collections in Hornbake CLOSED

Visiting the Reading Room

Visit the Maryland Room, located on the first floor of Hornbake Library, to view material from Special Collections and University Archives.

Panoramic photograph of the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library

Plan Your Visit

Consult the Get Started guide for information on finding and requesting material from Special Collections and University Archives.

Review the Visit Us page for hours, parking information, and directions to the Hornbake Library.

Check the status of your requests before visiting the reading room in your Special Collections Account.

  • Requests listed as "Item on Hold" are ready for you to view in the reading room.

When You Arrive

Sign in at the welcome desk.

Place personal belongings in a locker before entering the reading room.

  • Food and drink, pens, bags, coats, scarves, gloves, and other personal belongings not listed below must be placed in a locker.

Items you may bring inside the reading room include:

  • Pencils
  • Laptop (no bag)
  • Notebooks and/or books
  • Digital camera (no bag)
  • Cell phone (please refrain from taking phone calls inside the reading room)

Contact us in advance to discuss using a tripod in the reading room.

If you have any questions about what you can and cannot bring into the reading room, speak to the staff member at the desk or contact us prior to your visit.

Inside the Reading Room 

Once you have signed in at the welcome desk and placed your belongings in a locker, staff in the Maryland Room will ask for your name and locate the item(s) you have requested.

  • If this is your first visit to the reading room, you will be asked to present a government or university-issued photo ID
  • If you have not made requests prior to your visit, staff in the Maryland Room can help you register for an Special Collections Account and request materials.

Speak to the staff in the Maryland Room if you need access to the Wi-Fi or public computers in the reading room.

Equipment available in the Maryland Room:

  • Book Scanners (for use with published materials only)
  • Digital Microfilm/Microfiche Reader
  • Computers
  • Lightbox (for viewing slides)
  • USB Drives (may be borrowed while inside the reading room)

Handling Special Collections Material

The item(s) you have requested will be brought to a table and staff will explain the guidelines for handling special collections and archival material. Handle all special collections materials with care. If you have a question about how to handle materials, speak to the staff in the reading room.  

  • View one box on the research table at a time.
  • Remove one folder at a time.
  • Use an out card to keep track of the folder you remove from the box to ensure folders stay in order.
  • Maintain the existing order and arrangement of folders in the box, as well as items in the folders.
    • Do not remove items from a folder.
  • Leave material flat on the table, turning pages gently one at a time.
  • Use gloves when handling photographs.
  • Do not take materials out of the reading room.
    • Staff monitor researchers entering and leaving the reading room.
  • View up to 3 items on the research table at a time.
  • Keep all other objects clear of the items.
    • Do not take notes on top of material, lean or press down on material.
  • Do not fold pages, force binding open, or prop bound items open.
    • Foam book cradles and book weights can be provided for oversize or fragile items.
  • Use care when turning pages.
  • Consult the staff in the Maryland Room before scanning any materials on the book scanner.
  • Do not take any materials out of the reading room.
    • Staff monitor researchers entering and leaving the reading room.

Copying and Scanning Material

Use a digital camera or mobile phone to photograph material. 

  • Personal scanners are not permitted in the reading room

Onsite overhead scanners may be used to for published materials only

  • Consult staff at the reference desk before scanning books.
  • Scanning books and published materials may be disallowed if the item is considered too fragile and may be damaged in the process of scanning

Duplication of archival material must be completed by special collections staff (unless using a personal camera or phone). 

  • Consult staff in teh Maryland Room if you would like to request copies of materials from an archival collection.
  • Identify material you are requesting to have copied by gently wrapping a flag around each item.
    • Keep all material in the original location within the folder and box.
  • Complete the Duplication Request Form provided by the staff in the Maryland Room.

Please note the following:

  • View Duplication Policies before placing an order.
  • Depending on the type and amount of materials to be copied, there may be a cost associated with the duplication order.
  • You are responsible for determining copyright, lawful use of material, obtaining any required permissions, and paying any required fees.
    • The University of Maryland does not hold copyright in most materials in the collections of the Libraries.