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Requesting materials

Important things to know:

  • Set up your account in the Distinctive Collections Request System to submit and track requests.
  • Our collections do not circulate and must be used on-site in our Reading Room (14N-118).
  • Each user may have only 15 on-site requests at a given time.
  • In most cases our collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval; please plan to request materials at least two business days in advance.
  • If you plan to view materials in person, please review our Reading Room policies to prepare for your visit.
  • If you cannot find the material you are looking for or if you have any questions, please contact us.

Archives and Manuscripts:

Archival and manuscript collections may be requested through MIT ArchivesSpace.

Request for on-site use

Order a copy

  • Once you’ve imported the item information into the Distinctive Collections Request System, make note of the assigned Transaction Number and navigate to the request system Home page. The request will be located under Outstanding Requests.
  • Locate the request, select the Actions drop-down menu, and select Order Copy.
  • This will create a new copy request. You must now add information regarding format, quantity, needed by date, and resolution requirements and then submit your order.
  • Please note that once submitted, the copy request will be given a new transaction number.

Rare Books, MIT Theses, and other published materials (including tarot cards):

Request for on-site use

  • Request published materials such as MIT publications, MIT Reports, MIT Theses, rare books, and tarot cards through MIT’s Barton catalog by choosing the “Request for on-site use” button.
  • This will import the item information into the Distinctive Collections Request System and you will then schedule a date for your visit.

Order a copy

  • To order copies of items in Barton, select “Order a copy.”
  • This will import the item information into the Distinctive Collections Request System
  • You will then add details regarding format, quantity, needed by date, and resolution requirements before submitting the request.

Additional resources

Materials related to MIT people – and how to conduct related research:

Institute Archives records: