Special Collections Reading Room, opened in 2017, is located centrally on Meadville Lombard’s sixth floor, accessible directly opposite the elevator bank and adjacent to the kitchen galley.

The reading room was designed as dedicated space for students and other researchers to make use of Meadville Lombard’s 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 theMacLean Religious Education Special Collection.

Reading Room Rules

  • No food or drink is allowed in the reading room while using archival material or rare books. It is requested that food or drink be left in the galley.
  • The use of pens is not allowed; patrons are asked to use the pencils available in the reading room.
  • All bags and personal effects must be stored away from archival materials (space is provided).
  • All archival materials must be retrieved by archives staff (on request); researchers may not pull materials for themselves. Only one box may be accessed at a time.
  • Archival materials are available to researchers by appointment only.
  • Please refer to the Library and Archives Policies for further details on the use of archival materials (a print copy is available in the reading room).

Reserving the Reading Room

  • Student groups who wish to use the reading room for non-research related meetings can request to reserve the space through Student Affairs.
  • Staff and faculty can use the reading room for meetings as a space of last resort (i.e., the Conference Room is completely booked). Students and other researchers with scheduled appointments have priority use of the reading room. An archives intern often works at the scanning station. While a meeting can take place when the scanning station is in use, it is not preferable. To request the reading room as a meeting space, email the archives staff for instructions.

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

Ask a librarian or archivist

Our team of librarians and archivists are ready to help! If you have any questions, please reach out. Our librarians can help you out with account creation, database access, and reference. Our archivists can help with accessing archival collections, historical reference, and creating archives at your local congregation.