Visiting the Library Reading Room

Eddie Campbell

Before Your Visit

Researchers are encouraged to make appointments in advance prior to visiting the library in order to guarantee reading room availability and are also required to do so during university breaks. Please check Library Hours for further information.

Make an appointment for the Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room

Appointments in general are strongly encouraged as some materials are stored off-site and require a 48-hour notice to pull; some materials require significant time to retrieve; and the reading room may be closed periodically for classes.

Send us a request list

Prepare a list of items you would like to view during your visit by sending us a request list to our email address: In the list, be sure to include each item’s call number, title, creator, date, and location.  See our Collections page for ways to search our collections and locate the information for your request list.

Consult with Library staff 

If you have questions, it may be best to ask them in advance of your visit.

Procedures for the day of your visit

When you arrive, you will be asked to sign the guest logbook. We will ask that you place all personal belongings in the lockers provided (located just outside the library doors.) All food and drink must also be disposed of outside of the library.

You will then be asked to fill out a Special Collections Research Application if you have not done so within the last month. At this time, the front desk attendant will ask to see a form of photo ID.

While you conduct your research, you may have paper and pencils, or a laptop computer at the table with you. No other materials will be permitted.  There are a limited number of electrical outlets in the reading room, so you may wish to bring a fully charged laptop. As a precaution to protect library materials, pens may not be used for note-taking during research

While using the library materials, you are permitted one item at a time.  As you finish with each item, you may return it at the front desk in exchange for another. If you would like to page additional items, there are request forms at the front desk. Once you have filled out the form, a library staff member will bring you the requested materials.

When you have completed researching for the day, please inform the library attendant if you will be returning to continue researching so that your items will be kept on the hold shelf or on a book truck until your next visit.

Computer Access

A computer is available for researchers in the reading room.  In order to use the computer, you will need to have an OSU account login.  If you are not affiliated with the Ohio State University, you will need to have a temporary computer account created for you.

Wireless access is available.


If you plan to request photocopies or digital scans, you will be asked to mark items for reproduction with streamers and compile a corresponding list of the items to be reproduced.  You will be asked to supply the library staff with this list.  All photocopies will be completed by library staff.

If you plan to take photographs with a camera, please send us an email at to inquire about procedures.

Photocopy Reproductions

If you wish to have an item photocopied, there are Photocopy Request Forms at the front desk. There are also placeholders for you to place in between the pages you are requesting.

If you would like photocopies from a folder of loose pages, please leave the items in their original order and use the placeholders to distinguish the locations of your requests.

Photocopies for on-site patrons will require  a 24-hour turnaround, and all copies will be stamped with a COPY stamp. Fragile items or items larger than 28 x 43 cm (11 x 17 inches) cannot be copied; however, these items may be considered for digital imaging. For information about fees and shipping for photocopies and digital imaging, please see Research & Reproduction

Digital Imaging and Digital Reproductions

You may not photograph any materials without obtaining permission in advance. Once permission has been granted, you will be required to follow the use guidelines and complete a camera use agreement. The material used by the researcher may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code). Note that same day approval is discouraged and may not be possible.

If you would like to have high resolution scans made of an item, please review the Research & Reproduction policies and complete the Digital Reproduction Order Form.