Archival and Special Collections Research Reservation FAQ

Q: Is Special Collections open?

A: By reservation. We’re providing access to archives and other specialized collections in the Special Collections reading room by reservation only. After you request your materials, you’ll receive an email with instructions for reserving research time in the reading room.


Q: Are masks required in Special Collections?

A: Yes. In line with County of L.A. and university guidelines, masks are required at all times inside library spaces regardless of vaccination status.


Q: Is Trojan Check required in the libraries?

A: Faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to complete symptom checks through Trojan Check. All faculty, staff, students, and guests should stay home if they are sick.


Q: I already did Trojan Check. Do I need a research reservation, too?

A: Yes. Please make your research reservation using the link you received in the email notifying you that your items are available.


Q: How does the reservation system work?

A: Begin by requesting materials through the specialized collections request system. You’ll receive instructions to reserve time in the reading room once we verify that your items are available. Find more details about the process at:


Q: What are the hours for research reservations?

A: Special Collections is open for research reservations between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Q: Can I make a same-day reservation?

A: Same-day reservations aren't possible, as we often need to retrieve materials from other locations. We also need to maintain capacity limits carefully to make our reading room as safe as possible.


Q: Who can make a reservation for research with special collections?

A: Members of the USC community and researchers who are not affiliated with USC.


Q: Can USC undergraduates make research reservations?

A: Yes. We welcome and encourage undergraduate research with our archives and other special collections.


Q: What do I need to do before I arrive for my scheduled research time?

A: Please check in prior to arriving using the link in your confirmation email, and complete the Trojan Check process. Please wear your mask and be prepared to show your reservation check-in confirmation and your physical USC ID card when you arrive.


Q: How far in advance should I make my initial request for materials?

A: As early as possible. Pulling items for use can take up to one week under current conditions.


Q: Can I leave and return during my reservation period?

A: Yes, but please take your belongings with you. You will need to present your confirmation and your physical USC ID card when you return.


Q: Can I bring water or food into the library?

A: Food and drink are not permitted in the reading room or elsewhere in Doheny.