Library COVID-19 Dashboard

Library COVID-19 Dashboard
Learn more about updates to library services

Fall 2020 Updates at UW-Madison Special Collections

Access and Hours

Appointments are available from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday.

  • Appointments are required for visiting the reading room
  • Masks are required to enter the building and throughout your visit; those unable to wear a mask can take advantage of our remote services
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the reading room

Services Offered

During your appointment, supported services include:

  • Viewing materials in the reading room at designated tables
  • Limited self-service scanning (including use of mobile devices) 
  • Onsite research assistance
  • Self-service catalog access

Scheduling an appointment for visiting Special Collections

Appointments can be made by all UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students, using the appointment request application below.

Go here to start an appointment request.

  1. Select the library.
  2. Note any specific information about services that are relevant to your visit.
  3. Note any specific instructions for arriving for your appointment and entering the library.
  4. Select a date and time to enter the library.
  5. Complete the form, and include the estimated length of your visit.
  6. Submit your appointment.

You will receive an email message confirming your appointment that includes library specific information and instructions. Please plan on bringing your own laptop or tablet to avoid use of public computers.

Please don’t come to the library without an appointment or before requesting materials through your Archives and Special Collections Account. We must ensure we are meeting physical distancing guidelines, and are working carefully to ensure scheduled times allow for minimal contact for all involved.

If we do not have sufficient staffing to support your visit, Special Collections may notify you that an appointment has been cancelled and will need to be rescheduled.

If you have questions during this process or can’t make your appointment contact Special Collections.

Onsite guidelines for Visiting Special Collections

  • Bring your Wiscard so that you can enter the building. You will also need to present your Wiscard in the reading room. Please hold up your Wiscard from a safe distance so staff can verify the information.
  • Please wear a mask/cloth face covering at all times in the buildings. All staff will be doing the same.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly after arriving. Hand sanitizer will be available for use, but hands must be thoroughly rinsed or washed after using hand sanitizer and before handling collection materials to ensure that no sanitizer residue is transferred to the materials, as it may damage them.
  • Place your belongings in a designated locker. Please bring your own water supply to be stored in your locker.
  • Researchers may bring into the reading room only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, pencils, and laptops or tablets without cases. Power cords and headphones for electronic equipment are permitted.
  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times during your visit. Please observe any floor markings that indicate safe distances. In the reading room, you will be assigned a table that is distanced from the staff and other researchers. Shared surfaces are regularly disinfected.
  • Materials will be quarantined as appropriate. Researchers will only wear gloves when working with photographs and metal objects.
  • No materials will be retrieved within 15 minutes of closing.

Course Support

Special Collections staff can provide limited course support. Please visit our Instruction Page for more information.