Access to the Collection

Scheduling Your Visit
We require that researchers contact the Berg Collection to make an appointment for their research project in advance. For admission please contact staff using our web form or contact us directly by email at  In your application, please describe your research topic, summarize your research to date, cite the items you wish to study, and explain why they are necessary for your project. Please allow up to two business days for a reply. The Berg Collection Reading Room is open to researchers Tuesday–Saturday (10:00 a.m.–5:45 p.m.). Material will not be paged after 5:00 p.m.

All items are paged on demand, using call slips that researchers generate upon arrival in the collection. There is no need to submit request lists in advance. However, requests for material from the following collections should be emailed to at least two business days before the date of your arrival: Jane Cooper, Bruce J. Friedman, Philip Levine, Annie Proulx, May Sarton, and Paul Auster. You may request up to 10 boxes for your initial research, and up to 10 boxes a day on subsequent visits as staffing permits.

Berg staff is available for reference consultation before or after your research visit by email and during your appointment.

Obtaining a Library Card
You will need to present your current New York Public Library card and government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) to Berg staff to begin the registration process within our collection. Completion of a short form is required.

To register for your library card, proceed to the public service desk in the the Bill Blass Catalog Room located in Room 315 on the third floor where you may obtain your card in person. You may also initiate the registration process online at the NYPL website; you will be offered an application  based on whether you are a resident of New York City, New York State, or a visiting researcher.

Arriving at the Berg Collection
When you arrive for your research visit at The New York Public Library, please check your coat or outerwear and all bags in the cloakroom on the Ground Floor near the 42nd Street entrance. We advise that you wear a sweater to the reading room if you are sensitive to the cold. Necessary personal belongings, including mobile phones, wallets, and other small items of value can be brought to the Reading Room only in a clear plastic bag distributed at the cloakroom.

Please remember to schedule an appointment in advance of your initial visit, and bring your government issued photo ID and New York Public Library card so that we can complete your registration.

The door of the collection remains locked for security purposes; please ring the buzzer on the door’s left-hand side for access.

In the Reading Room
We permit researchers to keep loose leaf paper, pencils, and laptops without cases on tables in the Berg Collection Reading Room. Please note that we do not permit notebooks, bound items, folders or other personal items on these tables. These items should be kept in your clear Researcher Bag, which Berg staff will store away from the tables. We do not allow food, drink, or chewing gum in our reading room, and all outerwear, backpacks, and purses must be checked in the cloakroom prior to arrival.

Berg staff may provide pencils and loose leaf paper for your use, as well as electric outlets and extension cords.

Berg staff may restrict access to certain items based on their condition, donor restrictions, or staffing considerations. For questions regarding access, please discuss with Berg staff in advance of your visit.

Reprographic Orders
As a courtesy to those unable to visit the Berg Collection in person, we offer a limited number of research copies for a small fee. In order to initiate a reprographic order, please contact a staff member at

A researcher may request the following services annually:

    Up to 100 photocopies, at a rate of $10/first ten pages, and $0.50/page thereafter, $3 domestic/$5 foreign postage
    Up to 50 digital scans, at a rate of $2/scan.
    Up to 25 digital photographs, at a rate of $2/image.

Only unbound items may be photocopied or scanned; bound items must be photographed. Berg staff reserves the right to decline reprographic requests based on the condition of the materials, donor restrictions, or staffing considerations.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to contact the executor of the estate(s) to obtain permission to publish. Berg staff can help assist you with locating contact information in most cases. We ask that you contact us in order to receive a letter of acknowledgement from the Library that will include the proper Berg Collection and item level citations for the material used in your publication.

Outreach and Education
The Berg Collection was established for the use of researchers working on specific projects that engage collection materials. For the purposes of outreach and education, we also may be able to accommodate class visits, interpretive exhibitions, and group presentations for the general public. We request a minimum of 8 people and maximum of 20 for this type of programming, and invite you to contact us using the access form. We especially welcome partnerships with local institutions, and our curator and staff are available to collaborate on curriculum development that incorporates primary source literacy and special topics related to Berg Collection holdings.