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Frequently Asked Questions

When are you open?

We are open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 4:45 pm. We are closed on all University holidays. You can also view the full list of library hours to check if we’re open.

Who can use Special Collections?

Everyone! We’re open to the public, not just University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff.

What should I bring?

You’re allowed to bring pencils, paper, notebooks, laptop/tablet into the Reading Room. If you’re planning to request photocopies, they are $0.25 per page, so bring cash or a checkbook. We also allow you to take photos of documents with a digital camera, so you may want to bring your camera or smartphone and a charger.

Please DO NOT bring pens, drinks, or food. Lockers are available for storing bags and anything else you may have. You can check our Policies and Procedures for more information.

How do I access the Wi-Fi?

We generally do not have Wi-Fi available to non-Pitt affiliates. If you do not have a Pitt computing account and you need to access the Internet, we do have a desktop computer available for you to use in our Reading Room. For researchers who plan to be with us for an extended research visit, guest wireless access may be able to be arranged.

Do I have to make an appointment?

Making an appointment is not required, but it IS highly recommended. Calling ahead will allow us to have the material you want to use available when you arrive; we may also be able to identify other collections that might be related to your topic. If you’re not sure where to start and would like to consult with an archivist before beginning your research, please send us an email.

What should I expect on my visit?

When you arrive at Special Collections, you will be asked to fill out a short patron registration form, as well as look over our Policies and Procedures. If you’ve contacted us ahead of time, you’ll be able to get right to work on the material we’ve pulled for you; otherwise, you can talk to a curator or librarian to help determine what you want to access.

Can I bring my class or group to visit for a tour?

Absolutely! Please contact us for more information or to schedule a visit.

How do I order reproductions?

You may order a reproduction of most of the material at the Archives by completing our reproduction request form.  Information on reproduction costs can be found in our Reproduction and Usage Fees form.

There is also a special form to order copies of the prints from Audubon’s Birds of America.

Where else can I do research in Pittsburgh?

If you can’t find what you are looking for at the Archives, we encourage you to contact some of Pittsburgh’s other research institutions, including:

Can I work at Special Collections? Do you offer internships?

Students currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh are eligible to apply for positions and internships at Special Collections. Check out the current ULS student job opportunities or contact us if you are interested in working with us.

How can I donate material to the Special Collections Department?

Special Collections gratefully accepts gifts of materials related to our collections. For more information about gifts and donations.

Can you appraise my books?

Unfortunately, the Special Collections Department cannot appraise your old books.  However, we realize that this is a topic of great interest to many people.  We would recommend that you contact the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America for assistance in finding a bookseller that might better assist you.