Plan a Visit

Special Collections is open to all.

When visiting Special Collections for the first time, patrons will be asked to complete a User Registration Form. Researchers must register and may use materials only in the Special Collections Reading Room. You may register in advance of your visit here:

Special Collections User Registration Form

Reading Room Policies

  • Under no circumstances may researchers remove collection material from the reading room.
  • Researchers agree to handle all library collections gently and carefully and to keep loose documents in the order they are found. Handle unique and rare materials with care. Keep them flat on your table or in cradles provided by staff.
  • Use one box/one folder at a time. Order is important in archival collections. Please maintain it.
  • Pencils, limited sheets of loose paper, laptop computers, mobile devices on silent settings, and digital cameras are allowed in the reading room. Store your backpacks, bags, and other bulky items in lockers or designated area.
  • All food and beverages (including water bottles) are prohibited.
  • Wash hands before beginning your research.
  • Library staff may examine laptops, notes, and other items when researchers exit the reading room.
  • Researchers may use digital cameras for same-day copying of unrestricted collections. Other options (not same day) for copying may be available. Please consult with library staff about other available copy services.
  • In order to complete the registration process in person, researchers must be prepared to show a photo ID.
  • Personal identification information is entered into a database for statistical and security purposes. The Special Collections Library will retain information collected from researchers indefinitely.
  • Know we are here to answer questions about research, collections, and proper handling of materials.

Using the Collections


During fall and spring Semesters, Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and by appointment. Appointments are recommended for all visitors, to ensure no conflicts with your planned visit date. Classes and other events are held within the Special Collections reading room at various times throughout the semester. Contact Special Collections Staff at, to plan your visit.


A parking permit must be hung from the rear view mirror and may be obtained free of charge Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm from JMU Parking Services, located in the ground-level office of the Champions Parking Deck. See Parking Services Visitor FAQs for additional information.

Reproduction Requests

Contact special collections for more information about digitization of materials at

Class visits and Instruction

Special Collections works with groups to plan presentations and visits using our collections. Please schedule your session at least 2 weeks in advance so we can prepare the best experience possible.  Contact to schedule your class visit.