The Department of Special Research Collections acquires, preserves, and makes accessible rare, valuable, or unique materials that support UC Santa Barbara students, faculty, and research programs, as well as the scholarly community. The department's holdings are non-circulating but are available for research in the reading room during posted hours.

Special Research Collections will begin offering limited research appointments on October 6, 2020 in SRC’s Reading Room for UC Santa Barbara faculty and graduate students. We will only provide access to on-site materials that are not available online.

How to Request an Appointment

To initiate a request, please send an email to special@library.ucsb.edu.

Please write "Research Appointment Request" in the subject line to schedule a consultation appointment with collection curator/area specialist, or public service staff. The consultation will be conducted via Zoom.

Here is the contact information for SRC curators and staff

A UCSB staff member will confirm the availability of the materials of interest and help you to identify the most relevant items so that you can make the most of your time in the Reading Room. You can provide your preferences for visit dates and times during the consultation. If we are able to make those items accessible, the SRC staff will schedule an appointment for you and you will receive an email confirming your appointment time(s) with detailed instructions on visiting SRC.

Approved visitors will be booked for 3-hour appointments between 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday. Appointment start and end times will be staggered to promote social distancing. There will be no more than two appointments booked at a time in the SRC Reading Room. Individuals can request multiple appointments, but they may not be on the same day or week depending on demand.

Appointments related to scholarly projects with deadlines (i.e. tenure, book contracts, dissertations, etc.) will be prioritized. Otherwise, appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If your appointment is delayed due to high demand, a UCSB staff member will inform you about the delay and your appointment will be rescheduled at a later date. 

All materials, including non-circulating collections from the Music library and Main Library (see below), such as Art/Architecture, Microfilm, and the Tibetan collection must be requested at least one week in advance. 

Please note that all public computers in SRC will be offline, except the microfilm ScanPro machine that will be used by visitors consulting collections on microfilms.

Researchers using SRC materials will be asked to log in to their AEON account using laptops, iPads, or mobile phones.

SRC cannot at this time provide educational use copies, and researchers are encouraged to use their personal cameras (no-flash photography is permitted).

Accessing Other Library Non-circulating Materials 

Circulating materials from the Main Library and Music Library can currently be requested from UCSB Library Search as part of our Pickup and Mailing Service.

If you are in need of a Library item that is not requestable through the online catalog, please fill out this form (starting October 6). Library staff will evaluate the item to determine whether it can be made available for pickup, mailing, or to view by appointment in Special Research Collections. Note that this form is intended for requesting UCSB-owned materials only, and should not be used for requesting items via Interlibrary Loan.

Before You Visit

Prior to your appointment, please review the terms of use for the UCSB Library during COVID-19.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library is closed for general walk-in use. Campus members approved for special research appointments agree to:

  • Adhere to UCSB’s requirements for working on campus, which includes completing the online “COVID-19 Returning to Work Training,” enrolling in the COVID-19 screening program, and reviewing the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education

  • Adhere to the Library’s interim policies and practices enacted to support public health and safety for the benefit of all Library users and Library staff. These are respecting social distancing of at least 6 feet from other people, wearing a face mask at all times in the Library, and following all signs about respectful use of restrooms and elevators. 

When You Visit

On the day of your appointment, please:

  • Complete the campus’s symptom screener before coming to campus and have a copy to show via your mobile device or as a printout.

  • Wear your face mask to campus.

  • Bring your UCSB ID Card for identification.

  • Come to the Mountain Side entrance near the Summit Cafe to enter Special Research Collections.

  • Call the number provided in your confirmation email and a Library staff member will greet you, confirm your name and symptom screener certificate, and direct you to the elevator at the Mountain Side entrance to enter SRC.