Reading Room Access

The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collection Research Center reading room is open by appointment only. Requests for materials should be submitted at least one business day before appointments.

Winter Quarter 2022 Appointments

Appointments will open up one month in advance on a rolling basis throughout the quarter. Researchers needing to make travel plans are welcome to Contact SCRC staff about possible reservations further out.

How to Make an Appointment

University of Chicago Faculty, Students, and Staff

Reserve a seat in the Special Collections reading room with the UChicago Reservation System.


Non-University of Chicago Researchers and UChicago Alumni

Beginning Jan. 6, access to library buildings is being temporarily limited to current UChicago students, faculty, and staff, until further notice, as part of the University’s response to high levels of COVID-19 infection and work to limit the impact of the Omicron variant.

Alumni and other visitors will not be able to enter Library buildings while these restrictions are in place.

For the latest updates on this evolving situation, see the Library visitors page.


All Researchers with Appointments

  • Once your reading room appointment has been confirmed by Special Collections staff via email, request your materials using your SCRC Account and the links in the Library catalog or the Finding Aids Database
  • You can request up to 10 books or standard archival boxes or 6 archival storage containers (from unprocessed collections)
  • If Reservations are full, or if you would like to be added to a reading room seat if there is space available in the other block on the day of your appointment, you can add your name to the Reading Room Seats Waitlist. A Special Collections staff member will contact you if a seat opens up.

Please Note the Following:

  • Do not come to Special Collections if you have not had a confirmation email from SCRC staff.
  • If you have not requested your materials one business day before your visit, your appointment will be cancelled.
  • If you are not feeling well, please respect everyone’s safety and email the SCRC staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday

  • 9am - 11:45am (except Wednesdays when the reading room opens at 10am)
  • 1pm - 4:45am

** Please note that the reading room is closed 11:45am - 1pm every day.