Information for Researchers

During the Fall 2020 semester the Lewis Walpole Library reading room is open by appointment only to Yale affiliates with a current Yale ID authorized to enter campus buildings. You must present your current authorized Yale ID to conduct onsite research.

Librarian Susan Walker and Curator Cynthia Roman are available for remote consultation via Zoom or email.

General Information

  • Access to the reading room is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment visit All visits to the reading room must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
  • In addition to scheduling your appointment, you must also request the materials you wish to see via request links in Orbis, our online catalog, or Archives at Yale. Collection materials must be requested 48 hours before your scheduled visit.
  • Plan to arrive promptly and make the most of your research visit.
  • Bring your Yale ID.
  • A locker room is provided for hanging up your outer garments and storing personal belongings.
  • Laptops/tablets, pencils, research notes, and phones (set to silent), may be brought into the reading room.
  • Rest rooms for researcher use only are available.
  • Food and drink may not be consumed in the Library building, but any food requiring refrigeration may be placed in the refrigerator in the pantry and brought across to the Root House dining room which is reserved exclusively for researcher use. Please do not rearrange chairs in the dining room. They are set to maintain 6’ physical distance.

Health and Safety Reminders

  • Wear a mask at all times. Please bring a mask with you. In the event you forget to bring one, a mask will be provided.
  • Maintain 6’ of physical distance from staff and other patrons.
  • After washing or using hand sanitizer, be sure your hands are dry before handling collection material.
  • If you need assistance, approach the staff members at the service desk, but maintain adequate physical distance.
  • Staff members who need to assist you at your reading room table with handling or positioning collection materials may need to do so at closer than a 6’ distance; if this is necessary, the staff member will wear additional Personal Protective Equipment.

Reading Room Information

  • You will have an assigned seat in the Reading Room with a designated hold area for collections material you request located on the counter behind your seat. Oversize materials will be made available on a separate cart with labeled shelves. 
  • Material will be paged prior to your visit and your requested items will be waiting for you. There will be two additional times for paging during the day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Supplies such as foam supports, book weights, and magnifying glasses are at your seat.
  • Feel free to use one of the disinfecting wipes to wipe down your chair and table surface when you first come in.
  • When you are ready to take an item to your seat, make sure the table is dry.
  • Do not share materials with other researchers.
  • Any reference book or card catalog drawer you have handled must be designated by placing a bookmark in it with the date you consulted it to safeguard other users.

Using the Collections

  • When you select an item from your hold shelf to consult at your seat, inform the monitor which item you are taking by showing her the paging slip. She will have a copy of the slip and will check the item out to you.
  • When you have consulted an item and intend to return to it during your research visit, return the material to your hold shelf and inform the monitor, who will set the item status to “on hold”.
  • If you are finished with the item and do not need it further during your research visit, place the item on the “quarantine” cart to the left of the monitor station and inform the monitor, who will discharge the item. Once an item is placed on the quarantine shelf it cannot be retrieved during that week.
  • Do not leave collection items you no longer require in your hold area.
  • At the end of your visit, place your foam book supports and book weights into one of the drawers designated for used supplies.