The Bentley Historical Library is open by appointment only for U-M faculty, students, and staff. Please see our full announcement here.

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Bentley Access for U-M Community

The Bentley Historical Library is now open by appointment only for U-M faculty, students, and staff.

Please use this link to request an appointment.

For all researchers, we are happy to schedule a video consultation before or instead of a visit to the library. Please email us at bentley.ref@umich to set up a consultation.

The library’s Reference department will continue to receive and respond to remote requests from researchers who are not affiliated with the University, but our ability to check our physical collections remains limited and it may take us a while to respond. To make a remote research request, please email bentley.ref@umich.edu.

To keep our visitors and staff safe, and to comply with state law and university regulations, the Bentley has instituted the following procedures for using the reading room in person.

Bentley Visiting and Research Procedures

  • All visitors and staff must wear a mask.
  • In-person viewing of our archives is limited to members of the University faculty, staff and students at this time.
  • We will not have face-to-face archivist consultation in the Reading Room. If you need research assistance, please schedule a video consultation or email our Reference staff prior to your library appointment.
  • We are open by appointment only, from 1:00pm-4:00pm on Mondays and Thursdays. Researchers may request either a 3-hour or 1-hour and 20-minute time slot. It is possible to request appointments for multiple days in one week, though we may ask researchers to limit their number of appointments if there is high demand. A Bentley staff member will confirm your appointment time with you.
  • We cannot guarantee same-day accommodation for researchers intending to visit together. Each researcher must make a separate appointment request.
  • We will limit the number of researchers in the reading room to 6 at a time. All researchers will be seated at their own table, which will be at least 6 feet from all other tables.
  • Researchers must request material at least business 3 days prior to their appointment using their Bentley research account. When filling out our appointment form, please specify four boxes or five books that you will use per visit. We will not retrieve additional materials on-demand as we have in the past.
  • Please bring your own laptop/tablet, pencils, pens, materials to take notes on, etc. This will help us clean and sanitize the reading room between researcher visits.
  • Please bring a photo ID and completed ResponsiBlue screening check to show to check-in staff through our outer doors when you arrive (we will not keep your ID as we have in the past). We will open the door for you; our outer doors will remain locked for safety.
  • Researchers can still hang jackets in our coatroom, but the lockers will be closed. Those with personal items not allowed in the reading room (bags, food or drink, etc.) will be able to leave them on a table at one side of the reading room.
  • We request that researchers wash their hands before beginning their research. Hand sanitizer is also available.
  • Staff will disinfect tables, chair arms, and other high touch surfaces between researcher visits. Material will be rested for 7 days before it can be used again.