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Research & Reference Application Form

The Manuscripts and Archives Division staff welcomes your inquiries regarding our collections. We will help you identify and consult the collections in our holdings that support your research. Even if you do not intend to visit the Library, all reference inquiries are to be submitted via the form below. 

To expedite requests for specific resources, please complete and submit this form at least one week in advance of your intended visit. Failing to contact us far enough in advance may delay your access to materials for up to a day. 

All researchers are required to register via the form below.  Reference questions are answered in the order they are received.

Home address
Include the name and contact information of a person familiar with your project, such as an editor, colleague, supervisor, course professor, or academic advisor. If you are conducting personal or independent research, include the name and contact information of a professional or personal reference and the nature of your relationship. Your reference may not be someone directly related to you, or with whom you share an address.
Please provide a detailed description of your research project. If appropriate, please specify the particular aspect of your project that you will be investigating with our collections. Be as specific as possible about what you hope to find in the collection(s) you plan to consult (e.g, correspondence between particular individuals, meeting minutes from certain dates, or photographs of certain places). Understanding your research subject, scope,and purpose allows the archivists to identify (other) pertinent collections for you and better prepare for your visit.
The Reading Room is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5:45pm, except for national holidays.
Indicate specific items or box numbers, and which material is of highest priority
Rules for using the Manuscripts and Archives Division's collections

1. Division staff will determine which materials can be made available for use and when surrogates must be used in lieu of originals.

2. Only paper, pencils, and laptops without cases (i.e., items necessary for research) are permitted for use with Manuscript Division collections. Please bring a photo ID, which must be presented to Division staff upon arrival.

3. All jackets, bags, purses, and pens must be checked in the Library's coat room on the ground floor, adjacent to the north entrance (42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues). Food and drink are not permitted.

4. Necessary personal belongings can be brought to the reading room in the clear "Researcher Bag" obtainable from coat room staff. All personal items are subject to examination by Library staff upon entering and leaving. The "Researcher Bag" must be kept on the floor during collection use.

5. Mobile phones must be turned off prior to entering the Reading Room.

6. Photography of the room or collection materials is not permitted. All duplication is carried out by Library staff.

7. Researchers interested in publishing or citing materials are required to submit a permissions request to the Division, specifying the item(s) cited and the title, publisher, publication date of the impending work.

8. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain material with sensitive or confidential information. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications.