Visit Special Collections

Open to the public, Special Collections welcomes all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and visitors who wish to use the collections, view exhibitions, and attend events. We encourage individual and small group research visits as well as class visits.

Contact us at or 610-526-6576.

Our hours are subject to change. Please consult the website for current hours and holiday closings.

Reading Room

  • Canaday Library, 2nd Floor, room 202
  • Hours: Monday–Thursday, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. and by appointment

1912 Gallery

  • Canaday Library, 1st Floor
  • Hours: Open throughout run of exhibition, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and by appointment

Old Library 304

  • Old Library, 3rd Floor, room 304
  • Hours: Monday–Thursday, by appointment only

Individual and Small Group Research Visits 

We currently have two spaces where collections are brought out for individual and small group research: the Reading Room and Old Library 304. (The former is the default unless indicated otherwise by staff.)


  • For materials that are on reserve for a class, researchers are encouraged to visit the Reading Room during drop-in hours to consult the materials. 
  • For all other material requests, please search our collection discovery systems and email us the title, classification number, accession number, or box and folder number for any materials you wish to use. We require at least 1 business day to retrieve rare books, manuscripts, and archives and at least 3 business days to retrieve art and artifacts.
  • If you need assistance selecting materials to request, staff members are available for research consultations.
  • Researchers without a TriCollege ID must present a government-issued photo ID at the time of arrival and registration.
  • Pencils, notebooks, laptops, tablets, cameras and camera phones are all welcome in Special Collections. (Digital images may be taken as long as the flash is turned off. Some collections may have restrictions that prevent photography.) 
  • Please leave jackets, bags, laptop cases, folders, pens, food (including gum and hard candy) and drinks in the cubbies.
  • Handle materials carefully. The materials will be brought from storage and set-up on tables for you. Keep materials supported on cradles, stands, or tables, as instructed by staff. Do not trace or write on top of the materials.


Let’s collaborate! We want to foster positive experiences and opportunities for deep engagement with special collections for students.

Please contact us at or 610-526-6576 at least 2 weeks in advance of a class visit, assignment utilizing special collections, or exhibition tour.

Class Visits

Class visits can introduce students to primary sources and offer unique hands-on learning experiences. We can facilitate class instruction sessions in our Seminar Room (Canaday Library 205) and Old Library 304 and are happy to develop a pull list with you. 

  • Please provide the group name (college and class title); syllabus and project/assignment; expected number of participants; faculty name, phone number, and email; preferred date and time for your visit; and any special accommodations your group might have.


Faculty are similarly encouraged to develop assignments that incorporate collections. Students may visit collections independently for this purpose, but faculty should contact Special Collections staff at least 2 weeks in advance to coordinate timing and access details. (Some materials are easier than others to put on hold in the Reading Room or on view in a Delta cabinet due to their size, fragility, etc.)

Exhibition Tours

Faculty may also be interested in scheduling a class visit or group tour for a current exhibition

  • Please provide the group name (college and class title); expected number of participants; faculty name, phone number, and email; exhibition you’d like to view; preferred date and time for your tour; and any special accommodations your group might have.

Friday Finds Programs

Special Collections typically offers a variety of programs in support of its collections and exhibitions almost every Friday at noon in the 1912 Gallery. Friday Finds can also be an opportunity for students to present research they've done on materials in Special Collections as part of a course assignment or independently. Please contact Special Collections staff if interested in participating.

Today's Hours


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Canaday Library in the snow.

Contact Us

Library and Information Technology Services

Canaday Library
101 N Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010

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