Services for Humanities Grad Students

What are Special Collections?

Special Collections houses an incredible collection of rare books and historic documents, as well as materials pertaining to the history of Johns Hopkins University. Our main Special Collections Reading Room is located on M-level of the Brody Learning Commons; we also offer limited researcher services at the George Peabody Library and the John Work Garrett Library. Whether for research, personal interest, or instruction, we are happy to make our materials available for your use.

To request materials from MSEL Special Collections, you need to utilize a system called Aeon, widely used by Special Collections departments. As a JHU affiliate, you will sign in using your JHED ID. 

  • Rare books, manuscripts, and archives collections are stored in several different locations and are not available for public browsing. Our collections are searchable in Catalyst. Finding aids for archives and manuscript collections can be searched in ArchivesSpace.

    We can meet most requests within 2 business days. Please contact us if you have questions about finding materials for your research or if you encounter difficulties with the Aeon system.

Tools and Techniques for Archival Research

If you would like assistance in designing your research workflow, contact your liaison librarian for guidance. They can help you strategize the best tools for your research project, or help you plan in advance for a research trip. For some tips on an archival research workflow, you can consult the guide Tools and Strategies for Archival Research.