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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

During the summer, Special Collections is open by appointment only. During Fall and Spring terms, Special Collections is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm, and by appointment.

If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, please email or call 207-780-4275.

Reference Service and Research Consultations

Special Collections staff are available to answer simple questions about searching, requesting, and handling materials. For in-depth questions and USM course assignments, please request a research consultation by emailing, or use our contact form.

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. Ring the doorbell.

6th floor elevator lobby

In the anteroom, place food and drink on the table and hang your coat.

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.