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Research Guides

Guide to Research in Special Collections: How to request material

This guide will show you how to search Special Collections materials.

Requesting material

All material in UW Special Collections is requested onsite using paper call slips. Most of our materials are online and can be retrieved for you in person in 10-15 minutes. Material that's stored offsite will require advanced planning - generally it's best to give us a full business day's notice. To see if something you're interested in is stored onsite or offsite, please contact us using this form. 

 

Requesting books

Most books you find in our collection will be requested using this slip. Additionally, most books are onsite, which makes retrieving them relatively easy! Simply come into Special Collections, fill out this slip, give it to a staff member at the reference desk, and the item will be retrieved for you. 

Requesting rare books

Occasionally you might see an item that says "Special Collections - rare books." These books will be requested using a pink "Rare book call slip." These materials are all onsite and easily retrievable! Simply come into Special Collections, fill out this slip, and give it to a staff member at the reference desk. We will retrieve the item for you, but please be advised that some of these items are rare and/or old and may require a curator's approval before they are retrieved. If you're curious about about whether or not you can view a particular book, please contact us using this form.

Requesting archival material

All archival collections - including manuscript and photograph collections - are requested using this Archival Request form. After filling it out onsite, you will receive your own copy for your records. Any material that is onsite can be retrieved easily, usually within 15 minutes. Any material that is offsite will require advance notice - we recommend that you give us a full business day's notice. Please be advised that due to the unique nature of these items, some collections may have some restrictions on access. If you have any questions about viewing archival collections, please contact us using this form.