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Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Special Collections
and University Archives

Visit Us

Reading Room

Temporary Changes due to COVID-19

The Special Collections reading room will be open by appointment starting August 24. We are currently only open to Vanderbilt community members with a Vanderbilt ID. To book an appointment, please contact us by email at

Before You Arrive

All of our materials may only be viewed in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries. Many of our manuscript collections and rare books are stored in an off-site repository, so we ask that you request the materials you want to use at least 2-3 business days before visiting.

  • Read over Special Collections policies and other information you should know before visiting us.
  • If you have mobility and/or access concerns, please contact us in advance of your visit and we can help make arrangements, including assistance finding handicapped parking near the library. You may also visit the library’s Accessibility Services page.

Where We Are

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries is located in downtown Nashville on Vanderbilt’s campus at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Scarritt Place. Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Central Library. Our entrance is located off the second floor gallery, directly across from the Divinity Library.


Our physical address:

419 21st Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37203-2427

For general directions on reaching the Vanderbilt campus from Nashville's major freeways, visit VU's Vicinity Map. If you need detailed driving directions, try visiting Google Maps or call Special Collections at 615-322-2807 for assistance.


Public parking is available across the street at the Wesley Place Parking Garage on Scarritt Place. There are also a limited number of metered parking places next to the library building. Vanderbilt's Vicinity Map includes written directions to public parking areas on campus, or you may use the Visitor Campus Map. Visit the Office of Traffic and Parking for other campus maps and parking regulations.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Special Collections and University Archives

Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries

Vanderbilt University

419 21st Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37203-2427

Phone: 615-322-2807

Email Vanderbilt University Archives:

Email Special Collections:

For additional contact information, please refer to our Ask Special Collections page.