Special Collections

Using the Collections

Bridwell Library’s mission of providing services and scholarly resources to support the Perkins School of Theology includes acquiring and preserving rare books, manuscripts, and archives for present and future generations of users.  Researchers accept both the privilege and the responsibility of using Special Collections materials with extreme care.

Beginning March 11, 2019, Bridwell Library Special Collections and Archives access will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  NO WALK-INS PERMITTEDIf you have a question for or request of our staff, you may contact them by phone or email, and they will work with you based on their availability at the time of the request.  Bridwell Library seeks to provide exceptional support and service to our patrons and community, and we encourage everyone to continue to use our vast and important collections and resources.  Your experience and access to Bridwell Library is our priority.

Bridwell Library Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Special Collections and Archives are not available on days the library is closed. Please refer to Bridwell Library's calendar.

Permission to use Special Collections and Archives material is granted to registered readers, subject to the following rules:

  1. Readers must complete a registration form each year (June 1 – May 31) and provide identification with a photograph and current address.
  2. Readers must deposit coats, hats, computer cases, and other personal property not essential to their immediate research. Readers may use only materials needed for their immediate research. Outside materials may be inspected before researchers leave the Turner Reading Room. Beverages and food are not permitted.

  3. Requesting materials:
    1. Printed and manuscript items:  Readers must fill out individual call slips for each printed or manuscript item.  As many as five items may be requested at one time. Additional requests may be submitted after all other materials have been returned.
    2. Archives:  Readers must fill out individual call slips for each box of archival records.  Users will have access to one box at a time. Only one folder may be removed from the box at any time.

  4. Rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials are to be used only in the Turner Reading Room.  Researchers are not allowed to remove these materials from the room.

  5. All materials must be handled with special care:
    1. Please avoid touching the surfaces of the pages or images.
    2. No marks may be added or erased. 
    3. No tracings or rubbings may be made without specific permission. 
    4. No books, papers, or objects (other than weights provided for holding books open) may be laid on or affixed to Library materials.
    5. The arrangement of manuscript pages and the order of the folders within the box and the order of materials within each folder must not be altered.

  6. Pencils or computers may be used while researching materials; pens or indelible pencils are not permitted. The use of digital cameras is allowed with the consent of the Librarian or Archivist.

  7. Researchers must return all materials to the attendant before leaving the Turner Reading Room.  Researchers should note if the materials are to be reserved for use in the immediate future.

Readers are informed that Bridwell Library’s security system includes videotaping in the Reading Room.