Reading Room Access

The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collection Research Center reading room is open on a walk-in basis for University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff and by appointment only for general public researchers. Requests for materials should be submitted at least one business day ahead of visit.

Summer Quarter 2022

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

The reading room is open for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis. Appointments are not required, but are recommended to guarantee a seat.

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

Non-University of Chicago Researchers and UChicago Alumni

Appointments are required for general public and UChicago alumni researchers. Reserve a seat in the Special Collections reading room with the General Public Reservation System.

All Non-University of Chicago and UChicago Alumni researchers will be required to provide the following:

  • A valid, government-issued photo ID
  • Verbal confirmation of not having experienced any COVID-19 symptoms during the days leading up to and including the period of visit


Documents must be in or translated to English. Responsibility rests on visitors to provide convincing evidence of meeting these requirements to the ID & Privileges Office staff.

ID & Privileges Office staff will inspect the documents when presented but will not log or save any personal medical information or images of documents.

Visit the Library's ID & Privileges Office Covid-19 Information for Visitors page for more information about access.

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:

  • General public researchers should not come to Special Collections if you have not had a confirmation email from SCRC staff.
  • 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, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday

  • 9am - 4:45am


  • 10am - 4:45pm

Please note: Reading Room is Closed 12-1pm, June 13 - August 26, 2022