The Bentley Historical Library is open by appointment only. Please see our full announcement here.

In-Person Research

The Bentley Historical Library is open for research by appointment only.

You can request an appointment here. If you need help, 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.

Before You Visit

  • You must request an research appointment at least 3 days in advance of your desired date. Use your Bentley research account to request material, which now includes the option to select an available appointment time at the end of the request form. It is possible to request appointments for multiple days in one week, though we may ask you to limit requests if there is high demand. A Bentley staff member will confirm your appointment time.
    • Please note: We cannot guarantee same-day accommodation for researchers intending to visit together. Each researcher must register for a Bentley research account and make a separate appointment request.
  • Request up to six boxes or five books that you will use per visit. We will not retrieve additional materials on-demand as we have in the past.
  • We will not have face-to-face archivist consultation in the Reading Room. If you need research assistance, please ask questions or schedule a video consultation by emailing our Reference staff at bentley.ref@umich.edu prior to your research appointment.

 When You’re Here

  • Please bring a photo ID and your completed ResponsiBlue screening check (on your phone or a printout) 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 at your scheduled appointment time; our outer doors will remain locked for safety.
  • There is free visitor permit parking at the Bentley on the south side of the building. We will issue you parking permit to you when you arrive.
  • All visitors and staff must wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status.
  • We will limit the number of researchers in the reading room. All researchers will be seated at their own table.
  • Please bring your own laptop/tablet, pencils, pens, materials to take notes on, etc. You may take photographs of most material with your own camera or cell phone, but personal scanners are not allowed.
  • You can hang jackets in our coatroom and store small personal items in our lockers. We don’t allow bags, food/drink, or outside coats in the Reading Room.
  • We request that you wash your hands before beginning research. Hand sanitizer is also available.