Who may use the Lear Center?

Anyone! We are open to students, facutly, staff, alumni, researchers, and community patrons. 

How do I get materials?

Lear Center collections are in closed stacks and do not circulate. They must be retrieved by Lear Center staff and used in the reading room. We ask that you fill out a registration form and show photo ID before you receive your materials.

Why do I need to fill out a registration form?

Because of their rarity and value, we are obligated to provide an additional layer of security for our materials.

Do I need an appointment?

When classes are in session, an appointment is not necessary. However, there are over a hundred separate collections, so making an appointment is recommended. Scheduling will allow the staff to have the materials requested pulled for your arrvial. To schedule an appointment, please fill out this form. 

How can I get reproductions of Lear Center materials?

Requests may be made in person, by phone, or by email. Small requests for photocopies can frequently be filled while you wait, though larger requests for photocopies or digital images may require a week or more to fill. For more information on reproductions, please see our services page.

Who curates exhibitions?

Most exhibitions are curated by Lear Center staff. We encourage students, faculty, and staff to mount exhibitions on their own stemming from their own research. Researching and mounting an exhibition can be a time-consuming project and Lear Center staff are happy to walk you through the process.

This isn't valuable. Why is it here?

Materials may be kept in Special Collections for any number of reasons. Some items are here because they are valuable; others because they are rare and difficult to replace if lost or damaged. Some items are kept here because of their old age, fragility, or awkward format. Still others are kept in Special Collections because they form an important part of a larger collection.

How much is my book worth?

The Linda Lear Center staff are not apraisers and are unable to give an estimation of a book's worth. The Rare Books and Manuscripts section of the American Library Association maintains an resource page called Your Old Books with many answers about what kinds of books are valuable and how to locate an appraiser.

Do you have a Friends of the Library group?

We do. Donations from the Friends of the Library help make possible lectures, receptions, scholarships, and the acquisition and preservation of rare materials for Special Collections & Archives. Visit the Friends of the Library website.