Information for Researchers

The Lewis Walpole Library is open to scholars and research visitors who wish to use the rare and primary source materials in the collections. The Library is open by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. throughout the year (excluding University holidays). For directions to the Library, click here.

The Lewis Walpole Library is a non-circulating, closed-stack library. All material in the Library must be handled with great care. Reading privileges are granted to registered readers, subject to the following:

Appointments to use the Lewis Walpole Library may be made by email: or phone 860-677-2140.

The Library has recently implemented the use of Aeon, a workflow and materials' control software designed for special collections libraries and archives, through which readers register, sign a use agreement, and request materials for use in the Reading Room. For more information please see the Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library.

All Library users are required to register online to use the reading room and the collections. To register click here.

Requests for Lewis Walpole Library collection material for use in the Reading Room should be made through Orbis ( For more information about requesting material, including requests for items not yet cataloged in Orbis, please see the Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library (or click here). You will see there instructions for requesting uncataloged material directly through a "New Request Form" (to access Aeon, click here).

As part of the registration process readers must read and agree to the "Yale University Library User Agreement for Special Collections". A copy of the agreement, which includes important information about the reproduction, publication, and security of collections as well as terms and conditions for in-person use of materials in a special collections reading room, and a non-disclosure agreement, can be reviewed by clicking here. This agreement governs the use of the Lewis Walpole Library Reading Room and collection materials.

In addition:

    1. Lockers are provided for the storage of personal items. The Library reserves the right to inspect all items upon removal from the building.
    2. The main Library is equipped with 802.11 b/g wireless access throughout the building. 10 Mb Ethernet connections are also available in the Reading Room and other public areas. A public PC is located in the Reading Room as well as a monochrome laser printer. Wireless USB adapters are available on a limited basis for laptops not equipped for wireless.
    3. The quantity of materials readers may page at any one time is limited.
    4. Paging is available from 8:30 a.m. - 12 noon and from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
    5. Readers are requested not to remove cards from the catalog drawers or drawers from the cabinets.
    6. Video and circulation records are retained permanently.


Details of the Library's photography policy are included in Section II of the "Yale University Library User Agreement for Special Collections." In addition:

  1. Arrangements for images intended for publication must be made with the Head of Public Services. There is a schedule of charges, available at:
  2. Existing digital images for materials which have been made available on the digital image collection or other database online may be downloaded and should be used as study images.
  3. Photography is permitted only to the extent that it does not disrupt other readers or compromise the safety of the collections or security of the facility.
  4. Readers wishing to take digital images of collection materials may either use their own camera or use the camera provided by the Library for that purpose. The camera is made available upon request, on a first-come, first-served basis. The settings on the camera may not be changed, and the use of flash is not permitted. It is the responsibility of the reader doing the photography to download and save the images locally at the end of the photographic session.
  5. Readers may not take digital photographs of copies held at the LWL of originals that are owned by other repositories. Photocopies of photostat prints will be made for study use only when the repository’s image cannot be located online.
  6. All material in the Library must be handled with great care. Library materials must remain on the Reading Room table, and foam supports should be used for books. Book weights may be used to hold a page open; however, no pressure should be applied to bindings. Loose manuscript or unbound graphic material must remain in its folder, flat on the table, and kept in order at all times. Library staff are available to assist with proper handling as needed.
  7. Each user is responsible for recording complete and accurate citations (complete location information) for all items he or she photographs for future reference and orders for publication photography.

{back to top}

Related Links

Digital Collection
Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library
Library Collections
The Library and its History

{back to top}