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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

Guide to Special Collections: Visiting Special Collections

Learn about accessing and using Special Collections resources for your courses or research projects.

Reading Room Hours and Appointments

Hours & Appointments

Special Collections is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm. Staff at the reference desk are available to answer simple questions about searching, requesting, and handling materials. If you have questions or need to visit outside our regular hours, email or call 207-780-4275.

Research Consultations

If you have in-depth questions, or you're working on a USM course assignment, request a research consultation by emailing or calling 207-780-5492.

How to Prepare

Before your appointment or consultation, please review these helpful pages: 

What to Expect in the Reading Room

Start in the 6th Floor elevator lobby of Glickman Family Library on the Portland campus.

6th floor elevator lobby

After you go through the first set of doors, place food and drink on the table and hang your coat, then ring the doorbell.

Special collections entrance

Sign in at the Reference Desk.

Special collections reference desk

If this is your fist visit, complete the reader registration card and present a photo ID.

Reader registration card

Store bags, notebooks, and pens in the cubbies to the right of the door.


Have a seat at one of the reading room tables.

Request books and manuscripts by filling out a call slip.

Call slip

Enjoy our amazing view of Back Cove while you wait for the materials you requested.

View of Back Cove

Reading Room Guidelines

  • Wash your hands.
  • Leave food and drink outside.
  • Store coats, bags, binders, notebooks, and pens.
  • Phones, tablets, and laptops are welcome.
  • Sign in and out.
  • Use pencils only.
  • Handle materials delicately.
  • Photographs are for personal use only.
  • Ask to be let in and out.
  • Respect staff and researchers.