Plan a Visit

Fall 2021 update

The Special Collections reading room is open by appointment, Monday-Thursday, from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.
See Fall 2021 Access for details on requesting an appointment.
See JMU Libraries’ Updates for information regarding access to all JMU Libraries locations and services.

 JMU Special Collections materials and services are available to everyone.

When visiting Special Collections for the first time, patrons must first register as a user with the Special Collections Request System.
Researchers must make all requests for materials through the Special Collections Request System, and may only use materials on-site in the Special Collections reading room.

Reading Room Policies

  • Under no circumstances may researchers remove collection material from the reading room.
  • Researchers agree to handle all 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 and 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.
  • Special Collections 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 staff about other available reproduction services.
  • Personal identification information from the Special Collections Request System is kept for statistical and security purposes. JMU Libraries Special Collections will retain information collected from researchers indefinitely.
  • Know we are here to answer questions about research, collections, and proper handling of materials.


Summer 2021: Open by appointment.

Hours of operation for all JMU Libraries locations are listed on the JMU Libraries Hours page

Contact Special Collections Staff at with questions.


In order to park on JMU’s campus, a parking permit must be hung from the rear view mirror and may be obtained free of charge Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m from JMU Parking Services, located in the ground-level office of the Champions Parking Deck. See Parking Services Visitor FAQs for additional information.

Remote Reference Requests

Researchers may email us reference questions about materials held by JMU Special Collections. Response times vary depending on demand and staff availability, and may take up to 5 weeks.

At this time, staff will spend up to one hour of research time and will make up to 50 low-resolution scans per researcher.

Email us at with the details of your reference question.

Reproduction Requests

All requests for digitization must be made through your account from the Special Collections Request System. Digitized materials will be delivered via your account, and will be available for download for 30 days.

Contact with questions about reproduction requests.

Class visits and Instruction

Due to limited instructor availability, Special Collections will consider virtual instruction requests on a limited basis.

Contact with all questions regarding Special Collections instruction requests.