Different types of materials are consulted in different reading rooms. Choose the reading room for your appointment based on the type of materials you plan to work with:

Special Collections (Ahmanson) Reading Room

Reserve a seat in this room if you plan to consult rare materials. Rare materials include primary sources such as:

  • manuscripts,
  • rare books, and
  • visual materials (photographs and ephemera).

Check if an item is rare by looking at its status in Summon Discovery or the library catalog. Rare materials will have a status that reads RARE – PAGE AEON.

Before you reserve a seat, request the rare materials you want to work with through Aeon, the library’s request system. This helps us ensure that the materials you want to work with can be made available for your visit. Refer to the Aeon instruction guide to learn how to request materials.

  • If you reserve a seat but do not have rare materials requested in your Aeon account, your appointment will be cancelled.
  • If your appointment is cancelled, request the materials for your visit through Aeon, then resubmit your appointment request on the Reading Room Calendar. Learn more in the Aeon instruction guide.

Your requested rare materials will be delivered to the reading room on the day of your appointment.

General Collections (Rothenberg) Reading Room

Reserve a seat in this room if you plan to consult general collections materials. General collections materials include secondary sources such as:

  • published books,
  • journals, and
  • magazines.

Check if an item is in the general collections by looking at its status in Summon Discovery or the library catalog. General collections will have a shelf location and circulation status (typically ON SHELF or CHECKED OUT).

You may make an appointment for the General Collections Reading Room without requesting materials in advance. This is because general collections materials are self-serve (can be retrieved directly from the shelf).