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Lewis Walpole Library Fellows' Guide: Reading Room Information

Information about Visiting Fellowships and Travel Grants at the Lewis Walpole Library

Registering as a Reader in Advance of Your Visit

In advance of your visit to the LWL, please read through the information for researchers and the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University with information for Non-Yale Researchers. Before coming to campus, you must have an account in Aeon, our online system for requesting materials from library special collections.  If you have an existing Aeon account at Yale Library you do not need to create a new one.

Registration is a two-step process. You begin your registration online, then get an email with a link you must click on (do so within 24 hours to avoid having to start again). The link will take you to a user agreement you read and agree to by clicking on the button at the bottom of that page.

Once you have registered, you can search the collection and begin to place your requests for material that you’ll want to see at the Library. Place requests through Orbis or Quicksearch Books+, Yale’s online catalog interfaces, or through one of the archival collections finding aids for the LWL on Archives at Yale

The Finding Lewis Walpole Library Collection Material research guide has links and information on where and how to search for the LWL's holdings. 

Once you arrive, we will complete your registration by taking your photograph and checking your i.d.. (See the list of acceptable forms of i.d., listed in the box “What do I need to do to Register”?). 

When you are ready to use the Reading Room, Kristen McDonald or another member of the Public Services team will give you an orientation. Sue Walker will want to meet with you sometime in your first days here to learn more about your project and needs and answer any questions you may have.

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Reading Room Hours -- for all

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Paging: hourly from 10 a.m. - noon; 2 - 4 p.m.

The Reading Room is closed evenings, weekends, University Holidays, and Recess Days


Reading Room

adults read library materials and have laptop computers in front of them around a large light wood table in a high-ceilinged room

Lewis Walpole Library Reading Room 

Lewis Walpole Library Home Page


There is always a staff member in the Reading Room available to help you with answering questions, requesting material, checking material out to you, handling, and any other needs. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance at any time. 

Please feel free to contact us by email at, too, or contact any member of staff directly. For the full staff directory, click or tap here.

Friday Morning Coffee

Coffee and tea are served in the New Library Friday mornings at 10:30. 

The Reading Room is closed during this time.

Fellows, at some point during your stay you will be asked to give a very brief, very informal presentation about your research project to staff and other readers who are present at the Friday coffee.


The Reading Room is climate-controlled. Some readers find the temperature chilly, so it is advisable to bring a sweater or shawl, especially in summer. Please note that any sweater or shawl should either be worn while in the Reading Room or hung in one of the lockers down the hall while not in use.

There are a few shawls available to borrow in the reading room.

Information for Researchers

Information for Researchers at the Lewis Walpole Library What you need to know about using the Reading Room at the Lewis Walpole Library. 

AEON, direct link to the online reader registration and special collections materials request system. In addition to using Aeon to register initially, you can use the Aeon link to review your requests both past and current, and saved items you may want to see at a future date.  

Request materials through OrbisQuicksearch Books+, or one of the finding aids in Archives at Yale.

Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale an introduction to the wealth of special collections at Yale University Library and how to find and request them, how to register in Aeon as a user, etc.

Information for Researchers -- Photography

Readers may take their own study photographs. Click or tap here for the Reading Room Photography policy. 

Rights and reproductions at the LWL -- Includes information about ordering images, permission to publish, and schedule of charges. Images for publication must be obtained from the Library. The Library provides high resolution tiffs which can be sent electronically. There is no charge for existing digital masters. 

Finding Collection Material

Lewis Walpole Library Guide to Finding Collection Material provides guidance on using various discovery tools to find collection material at the Lewis Walpole Library

Borrowing Books from the Lewis Walpole Library

BORROWING BOOKS and stacks privileges*

Lewis Walpole Library Books: You may borrow one modern secondary source from the LWL collection for overnight consultation at the Timothy Root House upon approval of the Head of Public Services. The book must not leave the LWL property, care must be taken not to spill food or drink on the book, and the book must be returned to the Reading Room the next morning. 

Yale University Library Books, etc.: for details see the information in the Yale Network and Library Privileges box on the Visiting Scholars' Information page elsewhere in this guide. 

*Lewis Walpole Library stacks are closed and not accessible by researchers.

Electronic Resources and Yale Subscription Databases

British Eighteenth-Century Studies Electronic Resources - The Library has a Research Guide with links to electronic resources related to studies of the long eighteenth century in Britain. This includes relevant Yale subscription databases as well as other freely available Yale electronic resources and non-Yale websites. 

Yale Databases by Title - page with links to all of Yale's databases by title. Once your device is registered on the Yale network, you will have access to all of the databases during your stay (while on the Library's campus).

Handling Special Collections Materials

The Preservation and Conservation Department of the Yale University Library provides guidance on handling special collections materials. See, for example, their

Care & Handling Research Guide, which provides a set of best practices specific to the use of special collections materials in the reading rooms of the Yale University Library

and the handy

Handling Special Collections Material Quick Reference Sheet of Tips & Tools, a handout from training sessions designed for easy reference