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

In-Person Research

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

Please use the BHL Research Appointment Request form to request an appointment.

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.

For all researchers, we are happy to schedule a video consultation before or instead of a visit to the library.

To make a remote research request or set up a video consultation, 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 updated its procedures for using the reading room in person. Please use the information below as a guide to accessing and using the collections.

Bentley Visiting and Research Procedures

  • All unvaccinated visitors and staff must wear a mask covering nose, mouth, and chin.
  • At this time, in-person research is limited to university faculty, staff, and students by appointment only.
  • Please use the BHL Research Appointment Request form to request a research appointment. You may request appointments for multiple days in one week, though we may limit appointments if there is high demand. A Bentley staff member will confirm your appointment time(s) with you.
  • All researchers need to have a Bentley research account and must request material at least business 3 days prior to their requested appointment time. When filling out our appointment form, please prioritize up to 6 boxes or 5 books that you will use per visit. We will not retrieve additional materials on-demand as we have in the past.
  • We cannot guarantee same-day accommodation for researchers intending to visit together. Each researcher must make a separate appointment request and register for a Bentley research account.
  • 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.
  • If you would like research assistance, please schedule a video consultation or email our Reference staff prior to your library appointment.
  • If possible, please bring your own laptop/tablet, pencils, pens, materials to take notes on, etc.
  • 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 hang jackets in our coatroom or store small personal items not allowed in the reading room (bags, food or drink, etc.) in our lockers.
  • We request that researchers wash their hands before beginning their research. Hand sanitizer is also available.