DeGolyer Library

View in Arsenal Yard, Washington, D.C.

Covid-19 Policy


Starting July 6, 2020, DeGolyer Library will be open to SMU faculty, staff, and students by appointment only. See our new rules for details on the safety guidelines we will be following. Contact our staff if you have any questions.

While researchers beyond SMU cannot be accommodated in the reading room at this time, they are encouraged to send us queries about their projects. We intend to supply copies of materials as much as we possibly can, especially for researchers who can’t be here in person.

We thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Our goal throughout is to provide the safest environment possible for our library staff and our readers as we navigate the pandemic.


A maximum of 2 readers are allowed in the reading room at a time.  Whenever possible, we will schedule readers so as to minimize exposure for everyone involved.
Readers will be allowed in the reading room for no more than 3 hours per visit, 9-12 or 1-4, Monday through Friday.
Readers will need to schedule their appointments at least 24 hours in advance. No walk-in or spur-of-the-moment visitors will be admitted.
After making their appointments, readers should then let us know, via email, exactly what materials they want to see (call numbers, accession numbers, box numbers, volume numbers of periodicals, etc.). We need to have this information ahead of time so that we can pull the materials before the appointed times. If copies can be made, and if copies can answer a researcher’s needs, we’ll supply copies rather than schedule an in-person appointment.
Do not travel to the library if you have not had a confirmation email from us. If you are not feeling well, please respect everyone’s safety and email our staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

On arrival

Masks or cloth face coverings must be worn at all times in Fondren Library and DeGolyer Library. Our staff will be doing the same.
Our front door will be propped open at the time of scheduled appointments. Doors will be locked at all other times.
Readers will also be informed in advance about our locker room. A key will be left in a locker door for readers’ use. Researchers may bring only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, wallets, pencils, and laptops or tablets without cases into the reading room. Power cords and headphones for electronic equipment are permitted. Backpacks, purses, and other belongings must be kept in the designated locker.
Staff will have placed the materials the researcher has requested on a designated table in the reading room. A registration form will be also be left on the reading room table for readers to fill out when they arrive in the reading room. They will leave the form on their table when they leave for the day.

In the reading room
In compliance with state and SMU requirements, readers must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose at all times while in the DeGolyer Library. They will not remove the mask for conversation or other purposes. This is non-negotiable.
If a reader cannot wear a face mask, we will not be able to schedule an appointment in the reading room.  Instead, reproductions of documents will be substituted, in accordance with ADA policy on providing reasonable accommodations.
As standard protocol, the reader will be asked to make use of the hand sanitizer that’s in the reading room entryway.

Reproductions/copies and other equipment
We encourage researchers to use their cell phones or cameras as much as possible to make copies for their personal use.
Material for filling out reproduction orders will be left on the table, as needed. Readers will be emailed instructions for ordering reproductions.
If the researcher predicts the need for tools like a magnifying glass, light box, VCR, etc., they should inform the library ahead of time.