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The Archives at Meadville Lombard Theological School is proud to announce the opening of our new Special Collections Reading Room. It is located centrally on Meadville’s 6th floor offices, accessible directly opposite the elevator bank or adjacent to the kitchen galley.

The Reading Room has been designed as dedicated space for students and other researchers to make use of our archival materials and rare books in a comfortable setting conducive to concentrated study. A quiet space with a large work table, the Reading Room is also a showcase for the Sankofa Special Collection and the MacLean RE Special Collection.

As a space for research and study:

  • Researchers may not have food or drink in the Reading Room while using archival material or rare books. It is requested that any food or drink be left in the galley.
  • The use of pens is not allowed and patrons will be asked to use pencils available in the Reading Room.
  • All bags and personal effects must be stored away from archival materials - space will be provided.
  • Researchers may not pull archival materials for themselves and must request them to be retrieved by archives staff. Only one box can be accessed at a time.
  • Archival materials are available to researchers by appointment only.
  • Please refer to the Library and Archives Policies document for further details on the use of archival materials. A print copy will be available in the Reading Room.

As a space for students:

  • Student groups who wish to use the Reading Room for non-research related meetings can request to reserve the space through Student Affairs by contacting Claudia Espinel.

As a space for Meadville Lombard staff and faculty:

  • The Reading Room can be used for staff and faculty meetings as a space of last resort (i.e. the Conference Room is completely booked). Researchers who have scheduled appointments will have priority use of the Reading Room. An Archives Intern often works at the scanning station. While a meeting can take place during when the scanning station is used, it is not preferable.
  • Staff and faculty can request to use the Reading Room as a meeting space by creating a meeting in Outlook (using their email address) and inviting The invitation should include 1) Date and time of the meeting 2) The number of people attending 3) Any special requirements for the meeting
  • Archives staff will review the request. If the request is approved, will accept the meeting invitation.
  • Any requests to use the Reading Room during Ingathering, Convocation, Intensives, or other periods when students are on campus must be approved by the Library and Archives team through the address. The archive prioritizes the needs of students and other researchers.
  • Drinks are allowed in the Reading Room for meetings. Coasters must be used and care taken to keep the Reading Room table clean for research use.
  • No food is allowed in the Reading Room.

If you have any questions about the Special Collections Reading Room or have a research request, please email