Plan Your Visit

The Special Collections Reading Room welcomes all researchers! Since archival materials are non-circulating, you’ll need to view our materials in our Reading Room, located on the first floor of the library. If you are unable to come to the Reading Room in person, please contact us to discuss options for digital reproductions of materials.

reading room tables

How to Request Materials:

To request materials for viewing, please visit our Research Tools or browse our collections to find materials you want to view. If you have questions or need help using our websites, please contact us at or (208) 885-0845.

Our Digital Collections and Idaho Harvester Blog feature select digitized collections, curated online exhibits, and many other unique material held by Special Collections available to view online.

Visit our Reading Room during open hours or schedule an appointment. We ask for 48 hours of notice so we may do any preparatory searching and retrieving in advance. Appointments are dependent on staff availability.

When you get here, you will be asked to fill out a Registration Form, acknowledging that all researchers understand and will abide by the Reading Room Rules (see below) for using Special Collections and Archives materials.

Hours and Appointments

Everyone is welcome to visit our Reading Room and view our materials!

Semester Room Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00am - 1:00pm
Tuesday, Thursday 12:00pm - 4:00pm

Summer Hours

Tuesday - Thursday 9:00am - 12:00pm
or by appointment

Make an Appointment

To set up a research appointment, please email Including the following information is appreciated:

  • Name and preferred method of communication
  • Topic of research
  • Collection(s) of interest. If possible, include links to where you’ve identified the collection online.
  • Preferred days and times for a visit

We ask for at least 48 hours of notice so we may do any preparatory searching and retrieving in advance. We are open to appointments Monday-Friday 9am-4pm depending on staff availability.

Reading Room Rules

The department maintains a Reading Room on the first floor of the library where patrons are welcome to visit during regular hours, or make an appointment in advance, to review materials housed in the archives. The following rules are established to ensure the safety and preservation of collections as well as the quality of the experience for patrons.

  • For appointments, material requests must be made 48 hours in advance.

  • In most cases 6 boxes of materials are pulled per visit.

  • Materials must be handled with extreme care to ensure their preservation. Turn pages carefully, make no marks on the materials, rest no books or other objects on the face or surface of items used. Restrictions may be set to protect fragile or damaged materials.

  • All personal items (backpacks, coats, purses, books, and other personal articles) should be kept near the patron’s seat and out of the path of others in the room. Storage space is available in the cubbies along the side of the room.

  • Noise should be kept to a minimum. Set cell phones and other sound devices to quiet mode. Phone calls should be taken outside of the Reading Room.

  • Before leaving, straighten all papers and folders inside boxes. Return all materials to staff.

  • Use care to preserve the order of the materials in a box. Mixing up papers and folders is detrimental to collections. Ask for “outcards” – paper slips used like bookmarks – from staff if needed.

  • Laptops, notebooks, and pencils are allowed at research tables. Pens are not allowed.

  • We provide the necessary technology for searching our digital catalogs, as well as scanning or otherwise digitizing materials. Please check with staff before scanning or photographing any items.

  • Cell phones with cameras, digital cameras, and scanners are permitted with staff approval.

  • All food and beverages are prohibited at the worktables and around collections. Closed containers may be stored inside of bags or in storage cubbies.

Getting Here

We are located on the first floor of the University of Idaho Library. For directions to the library, see our directions page. For a wider campus map, see campus maps.

You can find information about parking on the University of Idaho Parking and Transportation Services Visitors Page.

More questions?

Head over to our FAQ page or contact us!