Our curators have extensive experience teaching with primary sources. We work with faculty across the University to provide hands-on instructional sessions that introduce students to our collections and help them build archival research skills. Classes, groups, and individuals are welcome to visit us. Please contact the department to arrange for a class session in RBSCP.



We welcome researchers of all backgrounds and with all levels of experience working with archives and special collections. Our curators and staff are here to help you navigate our collections and achieve your research goals. Although it is not required, we suggest that researchers make an appointment and complete an online registration form prior to their visit. 

Researchers may bring laptops, phones, cameras, chargers, pencils, and loose paper into the Reading Room. All other personal items must be left in one of our lockers.

We are not a circulating library; all of our material must be consulted in our Reading Room. 


Digitization and Publication

Researchers are allowed to use personal cameras and RBSCP's document scanner while in the Reading Room. Most of our collection material can be imaged. We also provide digital reproductions of material from its holdings for research and publication.  We also reserve the right to limit reproductions because of physical, contractual, or copyright restrictions. Researchers must complete a Reproduction Order Form, noting as much information about the item as possible, including collection or book title, and box, file number, and/or call number. Digital reproductions will be emailed to the researcher. Researchers can request up to 300 pages per semester. There is no charge. Orders take 8 to 10 weeks to complete.  

With few exceptions, we do not hold the copyright to materials in its care and, therefore, cannot grant or deny permission to use them. Accordingly, you are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any materials you may wish to use, to investigate the owner of the copyright, and to obtain permission for your intended use. In all cases you must cite “Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation” as the source with the appropriate credit line, and, if a particular material is copyrighted, you must cite all copyright information and comply with all other terms or restrictions that may be applicable to that material.    


Internships and Project-Based Work

RBSCP offers many opportunities to get hands-on experience working with archival materials through internships and student projects. If you have an interest in working with a specific collection or exploring a specific subject matter, please contact us.

Year Round Internships

English Department Internship Program in RBSCP

The internship is designed to encourage and support University of Rochester undergraduate students’ engagement in research-based projects using primary source materials in RBSCP. The internship aims to stimulate students' personal and intellectual growth as well as build and strengthen library and archival research and innovation. Internships are offered Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Contact in the English Department: Curt Smith 

Summer Internships

Students Experiencing History Directly

This internship will provide an opportunity to engage directly with archival material. Working independently and with direct supervision by a graduate student and indirect supervision by library staff and faculty, interns will use 21st-century techniques and innovative digital media skills to understand, analyze, and interpret rare and unique historical material. Interns will bring archival materials to broader audiences through developing a digital project, transcribing digitized letters, manuscripts, and oral histories, or creating of a collection description and online finding aid.

RBSCP Guest Curator

This is an internship for graduate students who wish to use their subject expertise to get experience working with collection development for an academic special collection. Interns will help build on our collection strengths and recommend specific collecting areas that can be bolstered. Reporting to a librarian/curator in the department, the guest curator will be part of an engaged curatorial team. This position will share responsibility with their supervisor for collection development of rare material, both print and manuscript, through research and acquisition. They will gain experience with and expertise in our catalog, databases, and finding aids to assess our current holdings in the subject area they are working within.  


RBSCP has a robust exhibitions program with spaces in the department and other parts of the River Campus Libraries. We showcase collections, research, and develop creative and innovative ways to look at how exhibition work can be used as a teaching and research tool.  Exhibits change on a regular basis. We welcome individuals to contact us if they have an idea for an exhibit based on our collections or their experience working with the collections, or have an idea for a collaboration of any size or scale.  



We host both physical and virtual events. Please contact us if you have recently used material from our collection in a publication, project, or other project and would like to collaborate on an event or talk. See our events calendar to find out more about our upcoming events.