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

Requesting Items

To view Bentley materials, first you need to create a Research Account. This account lets you:

  • Request materials and schedule your visit 
  • Track material you’ve already seen and items you want to see in the future
  • Submit duplication orders for scans of material or streaming access to some audiovisual files

Requesting Items (Overview)

Once your research account is set up and you’re logged in, you can request materials and view them by appointment in the Bentley’s Reading Room.

The majority of our material can be requested from two places:

  • the U-M Library Search catalog  
  • a collection’s finding aid (please scroll down to the instructions “How do I request items from the finding aids?”)

Additional material can also be requested from the Alumni Records Index or Vertical File index.

 

How to Request Items

1.) Click on the title of the item to see more information.

MLibrary search result list with item title circled

2. Click Request This (if there is no “Request this” linksee instructions below for “How do I Request Items from the Finding Aids?”).

MLibrary link to request Bentley item

3. If prompted, log in using your research account username and password.

4. Review your request information and if needed, change the publication dates, issue numbers, etc.

5. You will need an appointment to view materials in our Reading Room. Use the New Appointment button to make a new appointment using available date/times or use the drop-down menu to add the item to your already scheduled appointment. You can also create an appointment here.

6. Click the Submit Request button.

7. You will see the request in your account and can monitor its status. The most common status you will see is “Ready for Reading Room Retrieval“. This means that we reviewed your request and research access is allowed. You will also see “Item on Hold,” which means we have retrieved the item from shelving and set it aside for your visit. When you check into the Reading Room, we will have your material (or a selection, if you requested many items) available to view at your research table.

 

How do I Request Items from the Finding Aids?

If you do not see a “Request this” link in the U-M Library Search result record, the collection probably has a finding aid (collection inventory). You can view the box/folder listing and choose folders in the finding aid.

1. Click the “Finding aid” link.

MLibrary link to Bentley finding aid

2. Click Contents List of a finding aid, then select one or more checkboxes for folders you want to see (we will retrieve the entire box for you, even if you only select one folder).

3. Click the Request button at the top of the Contents List. If prompted, log in using your research account username and password.

Request finding aid screen

5. If you will be visiting the library, use the New Appointment button to make a new appointment using available date/times or use the drop-down menu to add the item to your already scheduled appointment. You can also create an appointment here. Click Submit Request.

6. You will see your Reading Room request in your research account and can monitor its status. The most common status you will see is “Ready for Reading Room Retrieval“. This means that we reviewed your request and that research access is allowed. You will also see “Item on Hold,” which means we have retrieved the item from shelving and set it aside for your visit. When you check into the Reading Room, we will have your material (or a selection, if you requested many items) available to view at your research table.

 

Still Need Help?

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, schedule a video consultation, or for any other questions, please email bentley.ref@umich.edu.