Frequently Asked Questions
- Who uses The Sherman Fairchild Reading Room?
- Do I need an appointment to use the Reading Room?
- When is the Reading Room open?
- What is required to do research in the Reading Room?
- Do I have to submit an application if I have previously used the Reading Room?
- How do I find which collection items I want to see?
- Is photography permitted in the Reading Room?
- What are the guidelines for using the Reading Room?
1. Who uses The Sherman Fairchild Reading Room?
The Reading Room serves researchers who demonstrate a need to consult the Morgan's rare materials, which have as their focus the history, art, and literature of the Western world. The Morgan makes collection items as accessible as possible, though within the limits set by their rarity and fragility. There is also a large reference collection, including facsimiles, microfilms, and bibliographic works that are not readily available elsewhere. Neither rare nor reference material held by the Morgan circulates. Researchers are welcome to apply to study items from the Morgan's collection.
2. Do I need an appointment to use the Reading Room?
Yes. The Reading Room is open by appointment to researchers whose applications for admission and requests to consult specific material have been approved as described in sections 4 and 5 below.
We accommodate as many readers as possible each day but space is limited. Please request an appointment as far in advance of your preferred dates as possible.
3. When is the Reading Room open?
Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and on the following dates:
Monday, October 31
Friday, November 11
Thursday, November 24
Friday, November 25
Monday, November 28
Monday, January 2
Friday, January 6
January 9–13 (entire week)
Monday, January 16
Monday, January 30
Monday, February 20
Monday, February 27
Thursday, March 16
Friday, March 17 (opening at 12 pm)
Monday, March 27
Monday, April 24
Thursday, May 18
Friday, May 19 (opening at 12 pm)
Monday, May 29
Monday, June 26
Tuesday, July 4
Monday, July 31
4. What is required to do research in the Reading Room?
Complete and submit the online application. Please provide a detailed description of your research. Most collection items are fragile, valuable, and irreplaceable. Readers should be prepared to explain why their project requires physical examination of the material they wish to consult.
In the final section of the application, list the items you are requesting, taking the information from our online catalog, CORSAIR; see section 6 below. Access to rare material is not granted without curatorial approval. If the condition of an item requires it, readers will be asked to use secondary materials, such as facsimiles or microfilms, before or in lieu of examining the original.
5. Do I have to submit an application if I have previously used the Reading Room?
If you have sent an application within the previous twelve months you do not, unless your personal information or your project has changed. An appointment, however, is always required.
6. How do I find which collection items I want to see?
Please use the Morgan's online catalog, CORSAIR. The final section of the application provides space to put the required information for each item. Please include the starred fields from the CORSAIR record. Cut and paste them into the spaces provided. You will have the opportunity to request additional items once you have submitted your application.
7. Is photography permitted in the Reading Room?
Digital photography for study purposes only may be permitted. Please indicate in your application that you would like to take photographs and review the Reading Room's digital photography policy.
8. What are the guidelines for using the Reading Room?
The following items may not be brought into the Reading Room:
Bags, backpacks, purses
Cases for computers and cameras
Cell phones unless muted or turned off
Lockers in the Reading Room foyer can accommodate personal items not allowed in the Reading Room proper.
All readers must wash their hands before entering the Reading Room; there is a sink in the foyer for this purpose.
Reading Room staff deliver all requested items to readers at their tables and collect them when readers are finished.
Readers may not touch written, decorated, or painted surfaces of rare items. Taking traces or rubbings is not allowed.
Guidelines for handling specific types of material will be distributed in the Reading Room.
For further information, please contact:
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-3405
Phone: (212) 590-0315
Fax: (212) 768-5615
E-mail the Reading Room