University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

About Rare Books and Special Collections

For fully vaccinated Notre Dame faculty, staff, students and visitors, masking is now optional indoors on campus. Those students, faculty, staff and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks inside campus buildings, including in Rare Books & Special Collections spaces. Anyone who would prefer to wear a mask in any setting is welcome to do so.

The Special Collections reading room is currently open by appointment only, but the exhibit room and reference collection remain open to all during our regular hours (Monday - Friday, 9:30am - 4:30pm).

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.