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For information about visitor access, see COVID-19 library updates..

Borrowing Guide: Unaffiliated Researcher

COVID-19 Updates

Yale Library is open to current Yale students in residence, faculty and staff who are authorized to be on campus. We regret that we cannot extend library access to patrons outside of our immediate community. Information about Yale Library and our services is available here.

All fines for overdue, recalled, and lost Yale Library and Interlibrary Loan materials will be waived. If you accrue fines, please email or fill out this form for quick resolution.

Unaffiliated Researcher

What am I eligible for?

Outside researchers may apply for privileges at the Yale University Library (YUL).  Options for library privileges include:

Rates & Details:

Pass Options:


Maximum Number of Borrowed Items:

Desk Pass


N/A, request 20 items

Stacks Pass

$20 per week or $40 per month

N/A, request 20 items


$200 per three month increment or $750 per year



$850 per year (only available at year rate)


How do I register?

Outside researchers who wish to use the Yale University Library collections must register in person at the Privileges Office located in the nave of Sterling Memorial Library (SML).  To register, you will need to provide a current government issued ID.  The following documents are acceptable forms of identification for registration:       

  • Driver’s license (from U.S. or Canada)
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • Permanent Resident Card (form I-551) from USCIS
Yale Library accepts credit card payments with Visa or Mastercard, checks and cash. We do not accept $50 or $100 bills. 

Explanation of Pass Options

Desk Pass:

  • No borrowing privileges or stack access
  • Retrieve materials from Sterling and the Library Shelving Facility (LSF) (20 items per day)* 
  • Pass good for one week, with option to renew
  • Access to Sterling Memorial and Bass Library before 6PM, and some School and Departmental Libraries (inquire at specific location before arrival)

Stacks Pass:

  • Access to the Sterling Memorial Library stacks
  • No borrowing privileges
  • Retrieve materials from Sterling and LSF collections (20 items per day)* 
  • Access to Library facilities for all open hours (some exclusions for School and Departmental libraries – please inquire at specific location before arrival)
  • On-site access to electronic resources


  • Check out materials from any library 
  • Building Access – allowed until closing
  • On-site access to electronic resources
  • Loan length varies by owning library. Standard loan periods are two months or date of account expiration, whichever is lesser.
  • Book limit – 15 books 

Borrowing-Premium -- same as standard except for the following:

  • Book limit – 50 books 

*Use “Place Requests” to retrieve materials and have them delivered to the circulation desk of the selected Yale University Library.  Allow two business days for delivery of items between libraries. 

Chat with us!

Contact Privileges Staff


Send questions to Sterling Memorial Library Services at:

Phone: (203) 432-1775



The Library Service desk is located on the ground floor of Sterling Memorial Library in the nave and is open during normal library hours.

Visitor Library Privileges Hours

Academic Year

Monday-Thursday: 8:30AM-6PM
Friday: 8:30AM-4:45PM
Saturday: 10AM-4:45PM
Sunday: 12noon-6PM

Please review weekly hours before planning your visit.