Getting started

Anyone is welcome to use archival collections and rare materials in the University’s Archives and Special Collections departments. Due to the unique and historical nature of archival collections, all collections are kept in secure storage only accessible by staff and collection material can only be used in the Reading Room.

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

Making an appointment

Appointments are strongly encouraged. If staff know of your visit in advance, they can have time to retrieve the requested materials and have a chance to talk with you about your research needs. Staff usually cannot retrieve materials while you wait.

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

What to expect when you arrive

When you arrive, please check in at the Information and Registration desk on the ground floor Wallin Center, Room 15. You will be asked to complete a registration form and review the policies and procedures regarding the use of materials in the reading room.

Coats, bags and other personal items are not allowed in the Reading Room and can be stored in adjacent lockers.

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.