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Using the Collection

A Roman bath

G. Mercuriale. De arte gymnastica, 1587

The Vail Collection is available for use in the Distinctive Collections Reading Room, located at 14N-118.

Searching the collection

The books, journals, and pamphlets in the Vail Collection are searchable in our catalog.

Books that appear with the shelf location “Noncirculating Collection 1” can generally be retrieved within an hour, and made available for use in the reading room. Books with the shelf location “Noncirculating Collection 3” require at least 24 hours’ notice for retrieval.

Using Vail books

Readers must exercise appropriate care when handling our rare collections. Many volumes are hundreds of years old; others have been heavily used and may be extremely fragile. Book cradles, special weights, and other materials will be provided, along with instructions on how to handle rare books.

Routledge's Readings, Dramatic

Routledge’s Readings, Dramatic, 1871

Clean hands are the best tools for handling most of our books, so please try to wash your hands just before coming into the reading room. For certain materials, gloves (which we provide) may be required.