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. We recommend readers to request appointments 2 to 3 weeks in advance of their preferred dates. Please note each reader is required to fill out a separate application.
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 29
Monday, November 12 - Veterans Day (observed)
Thursday, November 22 - Thanksgiving
Friday, November 23 - Day after Thanksgiving
Monday, November 26
Monday, December 24 - Monday, December 31
Tuesday, January 1 - New Year's Day
Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 28
Monday, February 18 - Presidents' Day
Monday, February 25
Monday, March 25
Monday, April 29
Monday, May 20
Monday, May 27 - Memorial Day
Monday, June 24
Thursday, July 4 - Independence Day
Monday, July 29
Monday, August 26
Monday, September 30
Monday, October 14 - Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day
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. Does The Morgan participate in Inter Library Loan programs?
The Morgan Library & Museum does not participate in Interlibrary Loan programs. If the ILL request is for unique material, please ask your patron to contact the department in which the material is held. The name of the relevant curatorial department is readily available in CORSAIR records, in the field labelled: Dept./Collection. See https://www.themorgan.org/contact for email contacts.
The Morgan Library & Museum is generally unable to provide photocopies or scans of non-unique items. Information on obtaining photography may be found at https://www.themorgan.org/research/imaging-and-rights.
9. 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.
No guests, food, drinks, or gum are permitted in the Reading Room.
Please refrain from wearing fingernail polish (even gel or shellac), since it might leave marks on the rare materials that you are handling.
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: (315) 533-4778