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National History Day Resources at University of Missouri Libraries: Visiting Special Collections

Guide for educators and students participating in National History Day projects.

National History Day Resources

Visiting Special Collections

Special Collections serves MU students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  Any researcher interested in using the collections is welcome, and research appointments are not necessary.  However, if you plan to use posters, maps, or other large materials, please email us at least 24 hours in advance so that we have time to prepare the materials for use.

Driving and Parking

Mizzou Campus Map with Driving Directions

The Hitt Street Visitor’s Parking lot, immediately south of Ellis Library, is restricted to parking for persons with disabilities. Metered parking is available on Hitt Street and in the Turner Avenue and Hitt Street Parking Garages.

More information about visitor parking

Requesting Materials

Here's a step-by-step guide to requesting materials from Special Collections to use in your research.

  1. Find items on your topic in the MERLIN catalog (or ask a librarian for help).  See the Search Strategies tab above for a tutorial on how to limit your MERLIN search to Special Collections.
  2. Come to the Special Collections reading room.  It's room 401 in Ellis Library.
  3. Check in and store your stuff.  For security reasons, everyone must put all personal belongings on the shelves to the left of the reading room door.  Please silence your cell phones, and leave any beverages or food outside the room.  
  4. Fill out a short form.  We'll ask you to fill out a request slip for each item you'd like to see.  You'll need to provide your name, address, telephone number, and a photo ID.  It's helpful if you have the call number or title of the item you're requesting, but the librarians can help you look it up.
  5. Special Collections staff will get your books for you.  Special Collections has non-browsing stacks, which means that staff members will bring books to the reading room for your use.  This process usually takes less than 5 minutes.  You can get settled at one of the reading room tables while you wait.
  6. Research to your heart's content!  But while you do, remember:
    1. Leave any marks you find in the books alone (and don't make any new ones).
    2. Use the cradles supplied, and leave the books in them as long as they're in use.
    3. Make sure your hands are clean - no gloves necessary in most circumstances.
    4. Return the materials to the desk (or let the desk attendant know) before you leave the room.
    5. You're welcome to take photos without flash.  Staff can make scans for a fee, if the condition of the material permits.
    6. Most of the books can't be checked out, but you can put them on hold in the reading room if you need to consult them over more than one visit.

Contact Us

Ask a Question

Request a Class Session

Phone: (573) 882-0076

Fax: (573) 884-0027


Research Appointments

Research appointments are not required, but they are recommended due to the high volume of use in Special Collections during the academic year.