Overview

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is open to reading room appointments for the Cornell community (see details)

Please see the Library's COVID-19 Service Updates for complete information.

Please contact us with research and instructional support questions.  We invite you to explore our digital collections and online exhibitions as well.

All visitors are welcome to view our current exhibit in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections' (RMC) exhibition gallery and our manuscript and archival collections in our reading room.

To get started, please review our registration procedures & guidelines for using our materials before registering in our online system. Once you've registered, you'll be able to request the material you want to see, as described in the "Find & Request Our Resources" page.

Below you'll find advice or resources on what to expect during your visit, how to find us on Cornell University's campus, where to park, and what you can and can't bring into the reading room.

What to Bring with You

  • A photo ID is required to complete your registration. No one will be allowed access to our materials without providing a photo ID.
  • A digital camera, cell phone, etc. for non-flash photography
  • Laptops, tablets, and chargers

Items Not Allowed in Reading Room

Please leave the following in our provided lockers:

  • All food, beverages (even in spill-proof containers), gum, and tobacco
  • All bags and coats
  • All notebooks or outside papers - paper is provided
  • Pens - pencils are provided
  • Portable and hand-held scanners

What to Expect During Your Visit

After completing your registration at RMC's reference desk, a staff member will ask which materials you would like to see first before directing you to our reading room. Our page will retrieve the requested materials for you and bring them to your table in the reading room which typically takes 10-20 minutes depending on how busy our reading room.

We store material in our vault or at our off-site annex. You will be able to access this material in our secure reading room, during the hours we are open. We are unable to retrieve new material after 3:30 p.m.

You will be able to view material one volume at a time or one box at a time. For certain collections, material may only be viewed one folder at a time. If you do not finish with an item, you may ask to keep it on hold up to one week from your last visit. We provide pencils and paper for notes.

We encourage non-flash photography. See the "Reproductions and Permissions" page to order scans and if you want to publish material from our collections.

Requesting Tips

Please request your material one to two weeks in advance whenever possible. Some material is stored off-site and takes a few weekdays to arrive, while requests for restricted material require staff review, and some material requires a prior appointment. Requesting material well in advance will help assure materials are available for you when you arrive.

Please note there is a limit of 15 active requests. If you are traveling here for an extended period and anticipate consulting a large volume of items, please contact us prior to your visit so we can discuss your needs and priorities to help maximize your research time.

How to Find Us

We are located on Level 2B of the Carl A. Kroch Library. Access to Kroch Library is through Olin Library on the Cornell University campus (view on map).

Upon entering Olin Library, walk directly ahead toward the green slate hallway, where you will enter Kroch Library. Pass the Asia Collections on your left and proceed to the end of the hallway. Take either the elevator or the stairs down two levels to Level 2B and this will bring you to RMC's lobby. Our staff will point out lockers for storing your belongings and direct you accordingly. 

See also:

Contact Us

RMC Lobby

Please feel free to contact us with your questions! The best way to reach us is through e-mail at rareref@cornell.edu

Hours

Link to complete hours.