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Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Special Collections
and University Archives

Request Materials

All of our collections and rare books may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries' Central Library building. Many of these materials are stored at an offsite storage facility and should be requested 2-3 business days prior to your visit in order to facilitate easier access. Deliveries to and from the offsite storage facility are done once every weekday in the mid-morning.

For general questions or to request a collection, email specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu or use our contact page.


Manuscript Collections

To request a manuscript collection, please identify the box numbers you would like based on the collection’s finding aid in ArchivesSpace. Then send an email to specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu with the desired collection, box numbers, purpose of your research, and anticipated research dates. Typically, we ask that you request no more than 8-12 boxes at a time. If you require more boxes, please indicate that information in your email. Special Collections staff will work with you to accommodate your request.

Identifying the box number in an ArchivesSpace record


Rare Books

Rare books that are stored offsite are marked as such in the Library Catalog. In order to request a book directly through Special Collections, please email us at specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu with the book’s call number, title, and anticipated research dates. Books may also be requested through the Catalog using the ‘Request’ function. Some books are stored onsite an may be pulled at the time of the request, though advance notice is always appreciated.

Identifying a book's location in the Library Catalog


University Archives

Many items from the University Archives are closed to the general public. In order to request information about a person, event, or topic documented in the Archives, please email us at archives@vanderbilt.edu, and we will work to fulfill your request.


Reproduction Requests

Requests for limited reproduction of material is available when such duplication can be done without injury to materials and when duplication does not violate donor agreements or copyright law. Copies may not be given to other institutions without prior permission of the Department Head.

A Reproduction Request Form may be completed and submitted to the staff member on duty at any time during the day, but at least fifteen minutes before closing. Requests for duplicating certain materials may require approval by the Department Head.

Due to staff availability and/or duplication request backlogs, copies may not be immediately available. Large duplication jobs may need to be mailed.


Fee Schedule:

Photocopies: 20¢/page

Service Fees: After 100 pages, a $20 service fee (prorated) is assessed for each additional 100 pages.

Shipping: $5.00 domestic shipping; $6.00 international shipping.

All orders requiring shipping must be prepaid.


Ask Special Collections for quotes on photographic or audio-visual material.