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Cornell University

Rare and Manuscript Collections: How to Request Resources

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

AIDS Education Poster Collection, #7723, folder 2.  Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

How to Register and Request material

When possible, request materials for the Reading Room one to two weeks in advance. Note that some materials are stored off-site and will take at least a few business days to arrive.

  • Register at . Select the appropriate button, based on whether you have a Cornell NetID.
  • Search for the collection name or book title in the library catalog: Click the title.
  • Click "Request Item for Reading Room Delivery" button
  • Select the boxes or volumes you would like to request. Note whether your materials are stored off-site ("Request two days in advance").
  • In the little white box, select the date you'd like to come. Click "submit request"
  • You will be prompted to log into the system. Even if you are already logged in, please click the button, or we will not receive your request. You'll know you've successfully completed the order when you are taken to a new page, listing your requests.

Please note there is a limit of 15 active requests. When you submit more than 15 items, all requests will go into an “Awaiting User Review” queue and will not be submitted for retrieval. If you are traveling here for an extended period and anticipate consulting a large volume of items, please contact us at prior to your visit so we can discuss your priorities and help maximize your research time.


Please be aware that many of our materials have Restrictions. These need to be addressed before you can access the material, and whenever possible, well before an in-person visit. If you see a restriction on material of interest to you, please contact us directly at 

A collection or work may:

  • require prior permission of our curators ("By appointment only")
  • require permission of the donor or the office that created the collection
  • be restricted in part
  • be restricted for a certain length of time
  • be available for research, but not for reproductions
  • be currently "in processing" by our staff, and not immediately available
  • have digital content that may not be accessible on short notice

You can see the restrictions when you request material through the online catalog, and in the "Information for Users" section of our Finding Aids.

Special Notice for AV materials: Due to the fragility and potential degradation of moving image and sound recordings, viewing and listening is limited to items that have been digitized. If an item is in another media format, you may order and pay for a digital copy. See the "Reproductions" tab for more information. Please e-mail us in advance if you plan to access digitized content in the Reading Room:

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