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

In-Person Research

The Bentley Historical Library is open to all researchers by appointment only.

Please see our Visiting page for hours and location. If you need help, please email us at bentley.ref@umich.edu or call the library at 734-764-3482.

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 register for a Bentley research account and use it to request an appointment at least 3 days in advance on each day of your desired date(s). 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. If it is closer than three days to your scheduled date/time, the system will not let you edit the appointment online. Please email or call if you need to change or cancel your appointment.
    • Please note: this appointment is only for you. We cannot guarantee same-day accommodation for people intending to visit together. Each person must register for a Bentley research account and make a separate appointment request.
  • On the day of your visit, you must complete a ResponsiBlue screening check before you arrive. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and email or call to reschedule your appointment.
  • Use your Bentley research account to request all material that interests you. We bring material out to you (we are “closed stacks;” you cannot walk around to look at the shelves). If you select one folder in a box, we will retrieve the entire box for your use. The end of the request form now includes the option to create a new appointment or select an existing appointment for your request. Please use that option to assign one or two boxes/items to your appointment, which we will place at your table so you may begin research right away. If you cannot assign an appointment, use “No appointment” to submit your request to your research account. We have two scheduled retrieval times during the day if you need to switch out material.
  • We have limited 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

  • We have free visitor permit parking on the south side of the building (Lot NC42). When you arrive, we will issue you a parking permit.
  • Please check into the Reading Room at the Welcome desk and check out when you leave. Bring a valid photo ID to show to check-in staff when you arrive.
  • Masks are optional in the library as of March 14, 2022 in accordance with university guidelines. Please be respectful of each other’s choices. We have KN95 and surgical masks available if you would like one. Staff can also use a clear face mask if it would assist us in communicating with you.
  • 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 (free wifi: “MGuest”), pencils, pens, materials to take notes, etc. We have pencils available in the Reading Room and paper upon request. You may take photographs of most material with your own camera or cell phone, but personal scanners are not allowed. If you need to speak to someone on your phone, please use the foyer or step outside.
  • You can hang jackets in our coatroom and store small personal items in our lockers. We do not allow bags/purses, food/drink, or outside coats in the Reading Room.
  • We request that you wash your hands before beginning research to protect the material.
  • Pierpont Commons and Mujo Cafe (in the Duderstadt Center) are a 5-10 minute walk from the Bentley if you would like a coffee or lunch break.