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: 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 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 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: 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 bring water or food into the reading room?

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