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Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University: Information for Non-Yale Researchers

Accessing Yale Library Special Collections Reading Rooms

Special Collections units at Yale University are open to Yale-affiliated faculty, students, and staff.  See individual repository websites for information on whether  appointments are required to visit the reading rooms.  Yale University Library special collections reading rooms will be open to non-Yale researchers who have been fully vaccinated and boosted, when eligible. The Yale Center for British Art's Reference Library and Study Room will re-open to non-Yale researchers on Tuesday, April 12, using the Yale Library registration system and following the same procedures.   All researchers must register their vaccination status with the University prior to their arrival.  Please allow up to one week for your vaccination status to be verified after you complete the steps below.  

The Yale Library process and requirements outlined on this page also apply to accessing the special collections reading rooms at the Yale Center for British Art. Please contact the repository you wish to visit if you have any questions.  Under current Yale Health and Safety Guidelines, masking is optional for vaccinated and boosted staff and visitors.


Step 1: Make an account

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. If you do not have an account, please follow these steps

1.  Go to the Yale Special Collections registration site.

2. On the right hand side, click Create your account under Login Without NetID.

3. After filling out the online form, you will receive a confirmation email.  Click on this link to confirm your email address.

4.  Please consult our registration page for more information, including required identification. 

Verify your vaccination status with Yale University

Step 2: Verify your vaccination status 

1. Please allow at least one week before your desired visit date for vaccination verification. Before starting this process, you must create your Aeon account (Step 1, "Register")

2. Fill out the attestation form linked below.  

  • Select the long-term visitor option, even if you are only visiting for one day.
  • For host email, enter: (not those of curators, library staff, or faculty members that you may be coordinating with; failure to explicitly indicate will significantly delay the review process).
  • Find the attestation form here: Yale Vaccination and Booster Attestation form

3. You will be notified via email when your vaccination status is confirmed.  

4. Please bring the vaccination confirmation email with you when you arrive for your visit; you will be required to show it to enter the library. 

5. As indicated on our our registration page, you must further present to special collections reading room staff two valid forms of identification.

Request your materials

Step 3: Request your materials


Use request links in Orbis, Archives at Yale, and Quicksearch to request the materials you wish to view. Please note that many items must be requested two business days in advance of your visit.  Due to high demand, you will be limited to ten active requests at a time.  For more detailed instructions consult our Find & Request page.