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Manuscripts and Archives (Repository) Researcher Information: Register

This guide provides a variety of information for researchers using the reading room and collections of Manuscripts and Archives, in Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University.

Effective 4/11/22, Yale University Library special collections reading rooms are open to non-Yale researchers. Please see the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University for information on gaining access.

Registration Process

All researchers using collection material, both in the secure environment of the Manuscripts and Archives reading room and through our reference or reprographic services, must register online to use Yale University Library's special collections. Your completion of the online portion of the registration process includes your agreement to the terms and conditions outlined in the Yale University Library User Agreement for Special Collections, the text of which is provided for your consultation on the above-referenced registration information resource. This User Agreement applies to both remote and in-person use of the special collections materials held by the Yale University Library, regardless of the particular collections that you intend to use. 

There will be no exceptions made to this requirement for use of the collections held by Manuscripts and Archives. This single, integrated registration process is for all Yale University Library special collections units. Additional information about special collections at the Yale University Library is available in the Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library.

Once you have completed the online steps of the registration process you will have an account in Aeon, Yale's online special collections registration and requesting system, which will allow you to begin requesting collection materials and other services from Manuscripts and Archives. Please note and remember the username and password that you create for yourself during the registration process (Yale affiliates will log in using their NetID). Contact Manuscripts and Archives public services staff (203-432-1735 or if you have any difficulty accessing your Aeon account.

For researchers planning an in-person visit to use collection materials in a Yale University Library special collection, you will need to do the following the first time you visit. You only need to do this once to complete the registration process for all Yale University Library special collections, and the Manuscripts and Archives public services staff will be happy to assist you should our reading room be the destination of your first in-person visit.


Supply ONE of the following:

  • A currently valid Yale photograph ID.
  • A government-issued passport bearing your name, your   photograph, and an expiration date indicating current validity.


Supply the following:

  • A non-passport government-issued ID bearing your name, your photograph, and an expiration date indicating current validity. Examples: driver's   license, U.S. state-issued identity card, military ID.

AND ONE verification document containing your name and issued by a school, agency, or corporate body.

  • A verification document does not need to contain a photograph or an expiration date, but the latter must be currently valid if present. Examples: a second non-passport government-issued ID; a school, college, alumni, or employment ID; a utility or other bill less than 2 months old; a voter registration card; a credit card; a Yale Library unaffiliated researcher ID; a signed letter of introduction from a teacher or supervisor on institutional letterhead and dated within the previous year.

Second: Have a current photograph of yourself taken by special collections staff for inclusion in the internal patron database used to confirm the identify of patrons using special collections.

Once your registration is completed you can be signed into any Yale University Library special collections reading room without presenting an ID each time. 

Your special collections account information will need to be updated and your current photograph re-taken annually.