Plan Your Research Visit

Welcome to the Eberly Family Special Collections Library! We’re happy that you have interest in our collections and we look forward to working with you during your research visit.

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library now offers research visits on a walk-in basis and no appointment is required. However, the majority of our collections are stored offsite and can take 2-3 days to retrieve. We recommend that researchers request collection material at least 2-3 days in advance of their scheduled visit to ensure that materials, if stored offsite, are available to review upon arrival in the Reading Room.

Exhibit Room

Enjoy the exhibit and then visit us in the Reading Room! We're right through the glass door!

What to Expect

We’d like to talk a little bit about what you can expect when you arrive.  We have rare and unique materials and we ask our researchers to observe some rules to ensure that we help the collections last longer. This enables future researchers to use these rare, unique materials, too.

  • Please finish food, snacks, and gum before you visit us. Covered beverages are allowed in one designated area.
  • You may bring pencils, paper, laptop, camera, or tablets into the research space.
  • Please, no ink pens in the Reading Room. Pencils and scratch paper are provided.
  • We ask that you use only one box of archival material at a time to make sure that folders stay in the order that appears on the inventory. However, you may request multiple boxes at a time.
  • Please take only one folder out of the box at a time.
  • We ask that researchers use only three books at a time to make sure that you have space to use them safely. You may request multiple books at a time, but we ask that you use them three at a time.
  • Please leave your personal scanning devices at home.
  • We have lockers for you to stow your belongings while you are conducting research in Special Collections. They are emptied each evening.

Please ask if you have any questions! At the Reference Desk, you’ll find Special Collections employees who can help you decipher old cursive, navigate a finding aid, or consult with you about other sources you may find useful.

Offsite Storage

A number of our collections are kept in offsite storage. This means that it may take two to three days to recall these boxes. If you are planning a visit from out of town, it can help to check in with the Research Services team ( or 814-863-1793) if you  have any questions about the timeline for retrievals.

Duplication Services

  • We have self-serve scanners that you may use, free of charge.
  • You are also welcome to use a camera without a flash.
  • If you would like to make scans or copies, please consult with the staff members on duty to make sure that the material is sturdy enough to be copied or scanned.
  • We also offer duplication services for our offsite researchers at Special Collections' duplication rates.


Materials in Special Collections are subject to U.S. copyright law.  Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holders to quote, cite, reproduce, or otherwise use collection materials. The copyright holder may be an individual or entity other than Penn State.


The closest Parking Garage is the Nittany Deck, a five-minute walk from the Library. You can find more information about how and where to park your vehicle with Transportation Services.

Where to Find Us

We are located on the First Floor of the Paterno Library. If you enter from the Curtin Road entrance of the Library, head left and you’ll walk straight into our exhibit area. The doors on the other side of the exhibit room lead to the Reference Room and our friendly Special Collections staff!