The Bentley Historical Library is open to all researchers, including the general public. If you have questions, please contact the Reference team at or 734-764-3482, option 2 during our business hours, Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request an item to see in person?
Do I need an appointment?
How do I use the Bentley during my visit?
How do I order a copy of material?
How do I ask for help?

Offsite Storage

Some material is located in our offsite storage facility and requires 7-10 days advance notice to arrange transport to the Reading Room. To help us review possible transport arrangements, please request material and contact the library ahead of your visit.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

We can interlibrary loan (ILL) many of our microfilm holdings to your local library or research institution if they have a microfilm reader. We do not loan original or printed material; however, you can order duplication of a select amount of material. We can loan up to six microfilm reels at a time for a maximum of six weeks, and we do not charge for ILL or shipping within the U.S. We will send the reels to your local library or institution after the Reference team receives a completed ALA ILL form from them. The reels must be reserved for library/building use only.

Data Collection and Use

The Bentley Historical Library may retain, indefinitely, all data and information regarding patron use of library items, including registration, circulation, duplication and publishing requests, as well as related correspondence. This information may be shared with third parties to address issues of legality, security, the administration of library collections, and other endeavors in support of of the mission of University of Michigan.

Unprocessed Materials

The Bentley Library is unable to provide public access to unprocessed collections. This is to prevent us from misplacing or damaging fragile materials and to protect any sensitive private information such as Social Security numbers and medical or academic records. In addition, some materials may have donor-imposed or legal restrictions.

Please complete the Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections form. It will help our library set priorities for future processing decisions. Thank you for taking the time to complete this form.