Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only, limited to UMN affiliates. Appointments must be made one week in advance of your visit. Contact or the curator of the collecting area you wish to use for assistance. We continue to provide scans of requested research materials when possible, especially for our non-campus clientele.

Getting started

All are welcome to use archival collections and rare materials in the University’s Archives and Special Collections. Due to the unique and historical nature of archival collections, all collections are stored in secure storage only accessible by staff and collection material can only be viewed by the public in our Reading Room.

Please contact unit staff for more information or to make an appointment to view collections. Archives and Special Collections unit webpages may also include links to digital content, online exhibits, and other helpful resources.

Making an appointment

Updated policies (September 2020) Appointments are required and must be made a week in advance.  This allows staff time to pull and quarantine items for your use.  Staff are not able to pull items on demand. To make an appointment please contact unit staff who manage the collection you are interested in using. Staff will confirm your appointment day/time and send you a link to fill out an online access form.  Please do not arrive at the library if you have not received this email confirmation.

Please contact the unit that has the collections you wish to use to schedule a time for your research visit.

Updated procedures

  • Do not travel to the library if you have not had a confirmation email from us confirming your appointment time and that your materials are available.
  • For everyone’s safety the Wallin Center reading room will be open to researchers in a limited and controlled capacity. Four researchers will be allowed in the reading room at a time.
  • To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, face masks or face coverings are required in all campus buildings, including libraries. In addition, we request that you practice physical distancing of six feet apart.
  • If you are not feeling well, we ask that you please respect everyone’s safety and email our staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
  • Building doors are locked and access to the building is limited to one entrance. A staff member let you in when your appointment is scheduled to start.
  • Materials that you have requested will have been quarantined prior to your arrival.

What to expect when you arrive

Updated policies (September 2020) When you arrive please go to the North ground floor entrance, across from the solar panels.  Please call the Wallin Reception desk to be let in (phone number is posted on the door). Staff will let you in the building and confirm that you have filled out our online access form and check your ID. They will also go over how to use items in the Reading Room.  Due to COVID-19 masks are required; one will be provided if needed.  We ask that the mask covers your nose and mouth.
Coats, bags and other personal items are not allowed in the Reading Room and can be stored in adjacent lockers. We ask that the locker is left open when you are done for the day in order to clean it.

Getting to Andersen Library

Elmer L. Andersen Library (Andersen Library) sits on the West Bank of the Mississippi River near Willey Hall and the University Law School’s Mondale Hall.

University parking lot C86 is the closest parking facility to Andersen Library. University Parking and Transportation Services provides up-to-date information about transit options, biking, parking, and other campus transportation needs.

Driving and delivery directions

GPS systems often give incorrect directions for our location (222 - 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis), so if you are driving to Andersen Library and are unfamiliar with campus or with our location on the West Bank, please contact a staff member for assistance.

The following directions provide clear maps with driving directions:

All-gender restrooms

There are no all-gender restrooms in the Elmer L. Andersen Library. The nearest all-gender restrooms are:

  • Mondale Hall, 4th floor, rooms 461 and 462
  • Social Sciences Building, first floor, rooms 129, 136, and 177
  • Heller Hall, rooms 155, 555, 755, 919, 1019, 119, and 1219

For more information, see the map of all publicly accessible gender neutral restrooms maintained by the University of Minnesota campus.

Not finding what you need?

A staff person in Archives & Special Collections will be glad to assist you.