University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

About Rare Books and Special Collections

Policy Update:

Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff can request appointments to access the Rare Books & Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Please email Rare Books & Special Collections for research and course support or to make an appointment.

Research requests by non-ND-affiliates are also by appointment and follow the University's Summer 2021 Visitor's Policy. This policy is subject to change at the discretion of the University.


We are located on the main floor of the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame in northern Indiana. (For general information about visiting Notre Dame, directions to the campus, and other information, visit the University's visitors page.) We are open to students, faculty, visiting researchers, and members of the community Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, and are closed weekends and major holidays.

Access to Materials

All readers visiting Special Collections are required to follow departmental guideline regarding security, registration, requests and use of materials. Out-of-town patrons are advised to contact the department in advance of their visit to ensure that the materials they wish to consult are available. In addition, all patrons are advised to contact the department a day in advance of requests for medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and pre-1501 printed books held in our vault.

Please view complete Access to Materials page for all relevant information.

Duplication Policy

Approval of duplication requests is always subject to the physical condition and value of the materials and the copyright laws of the United States. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please view complete Duplication Policy for more information.

Instruction and Class Visits

Special Collections is happy to provide instruction to classes at the request of instructors or teaching assistants. This offers students an excellent opportunity to view and use original source materials discussed in class. A formal introduction to Special Collections can remove some of the students' anxieties about requesting and handling rare materials.

Please view complete Instruction and Class Visits information for further information about having your class meet in Special Collections.