Research Services Overview

Reading Room
Elizabeth Reed Rare Book and Manuscript Reading Room

Located on the 2B level of the Carl A. Kroch Library on the central Cornell campus, The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is open to the public—to students, faculty, visiting researchers and members of the community. We provide on-site and remote reference services, and teaching services for all levels of students. We also offer exhibitions in the Samuel L. Hirshland Exhibition Gallery and provide on-line versions of our current and past exhibitions.

Anyone may visit Cornell to see materials held by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (Kroch Library hours are listed to the left). However, because the Division's collections are old, scarce, and often fragile, they do not circulate and are stored in a secure vault with carefully controlled temperature and humidity. Collection items will be retrieved by library staff upon request for use in the Division's reading room in Kroch Library. Requests to view materials are subject to appropriate care and handling and donor requirements. Some materials require an advance appointment.

To see items in our collections, start by clicking the “Register & Request Items” link at the left and following the directions. This creates a personal research account that you may use to request materials. We recommend completing this step at least two weeks before your visit if possible.

RMC may be unable to fulfill some off-campus reference or reproduction requests during periods when demand for service exceeds available resources. In such instances, Cornell University's community will receive priority service. Research fees for off-site users may apply.

Our collections page offers a descriptive overview of Cornell's strongest rare book and manuscript collections. Please consult how to find rare books and manuscripts, registration & guidelines for use, frequently asked questions, and information for visitors for more information.

For questions concerning reproducing Cornell University building plans and drawings, please contact the Facilities Information Group.