Reading Room Guidelines

The University of Connecticut requires that all visitors, faculty, staff, and students wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. ASC staff will gladly provide masks to researchers as necessary.  

We have introduced capacity limits and distancing protocols in the reading room. Once capacity has been reached, our appointment scheduling system will indicate that no more appointments can be accepted for that day.  

If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. ASC staff will be happy to work with you to reschedule your visit or provide virtual research assistance. 


Our materials, including archival and manuscript collections, rare books, and other special collections do not circulate and must be viewed in the John P. McDonald Reading Room. The McDonald Reading Room is equipped with audio-visual equipment, computers and listening stations for researchers using multimedia materials.

All researchers must register before accessing materials. You can fill out the Researcher Registration Form online ahead of time or onsite on the day of your visit. Staff will ask you to show a photo ID and to place your personal belongings in one of our coatroom lockers.

Please keep the following considerations in mind as you prepare for your visit:

  • No food or drink are allowed in the reading room, including water, gum, candy, or cough drops.
  • Some materials may be subject to access or reproduction restrictions due to donor agreement, privacy considerations, or preservation concerns.
  • Staff will ask you to store bags, purses, coats, and other personal property in our coatroom lockers. Bags may be subject to search by staff.
  • You can bring laptops, loose paper, and pencils into the reading room. Pens, markers, and highlighters are not allowed.

See our Reading Room Policies for additional guidance. Staff will go over these policies and any use or handling considerations with you on your arrival.


Obtaining Copies of Collections

You are welcome to bring a cellphone, tablet, or digital camera to take photographs of collections material for personal research use. We do not allow tripods, handheld scanners, or lighting equipment. Please see our Self-Service Photography Policy for additional guidance.

We can also provide copies for you, for a nominal fee. Reproduction orders generally have a 15-working-day turnaround. Find out more about our services and charges.



If you have questions about accessing our collections, planning a visit, or ordering reproductions, please contact our Research Services staff at (860) 486-2524 or