Finding and Using Sources in Archives and Special Collections

Welcome to the University of Minnesota Libraries Archives and Special Collections researcher information pages. These pages will help you get started with general research tips and information about how to find sources in Archives and Special Collections.

Ready to start searching?

Use the search box on this page.

You are encouraged to consult with staff members about your research. For information about the collections or to make an appointment, please contact a staff member in one of the archives or special collections units.

Archives & Special Collections

Welcome Visitors

Reading Room Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The books, manuscripts, and artifacts in the Archives and Special Collections Department of the University of Minnesota Libraries are among the most valuable cultural documents available anywhere. These materials range from four thousand year old Babylonian clay tablets to the latest illustrated children's books.

Many of these internationally renowned collections have been brought together for the first time in a state-of-the-art facility, named for Minnesota's premiere businessman, statesman, and bookman, Elmer L. Andersen.

Collections in other locations include the James Ford Bell Library (Wilson Library, West Bank campus), the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine (Diehl Hall, East Bank Campus), and the Andersen Horticultural Library (Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, MN, west of the Twin Cities.)

The links here and the information in other pages will help get you started if you're new to research, and will direct you to your research sources if you've been here before.

Ready to search?
New to archives and special collections research?


Summer Hours

Our Summer hours are 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please note that due to class meetings, group presentations, and special events, the reading room may be closed. To confirm hours for a particular day, please contact the Bell at 612.624.1528 or

We continue to accept appointments outside posted hours, including evenings and weekends, subject to staff availability and building hours.

The following closures have been scheduled for 2016 and are subject to change:

Friday, January 15: Bell Library Closed


Library Carrel Application for University of Minnesota Faculty

The Libraries have two locations with carrels, Wilson Library (West Bank) and Magrath Library (St. Paul Campus). Magrath Library has a limited number of carrels (nine) for faculty and graduate students. Carrels are intended to provide study space for projects/research work, for which library material is needed. Carrels are not intended to serve as offices, conference rooms, storage space or offices for teaching/research assistants.

NEH Grant: Maps in Books Project

Project Update: Students and staff have been trained, procedures finalized, and we've already reviewed more than 200 books and located 200 maps!


1911 Florence Burrell Normal School

Listed in YMCA Yearbook for Date: 
Burrell Normal School