Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about reference, research, and digitization services should be sent to our reference email ( All materials must be requested in advance via the UO Libraries catalog.

Where are you located?

We are located in the Knight Library, 2nd floor North, Paulson Reading Room.  All materials (must be requested in advance) from are non-circulating, and must be viewed in the Paulson Reading Room. 

Street Address
UO Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street
Eugene, OR 97403-1299

Mailing Address
UO Libraries-SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1299

How can I donate materials?

We do not accept donations of books, university history items, personal papers, photographs, audio-visual, or other archival materials without prior discussion and approval. Additions to the department's holdings must be approved by a curator and by the curatorial acquisitions review committee. Interested donors must send us an email, and one of our curators will contact you for further information to assess the materials and determine their fit with our collecting policy.

Donations intended for the Oregon Poetry collection must be donated through Jeff Staiger.

What do you have?

We have over a million items including medieval manuscripts; recent fine-press books; historic and contemporary photography; documents, objects and records showing the history of the University of Oregon; Oregon Trail diaries; letters from pioneers; journals and letters from missionaries in Asia; personal papers of state and federal legislators and policy makers on the environment and many other issues; manuscripts, letters, illustrations, and publications for children's literature and for science fiction, mysteries, Westerns, comic books, and other pulp genres; and many, many other categories. Most of our materials are kept in closed stacks or off-site; a very small selection are visible in our Paulson Reading Room. All materials must be requested in advance via the UO Libraries catalog.

How do I find something?

  1. Search the UO Libraries online catalog, our collections management system, and request materials.
  2. Browse our collecting areas. We add content frequently to ArchivesRare Books, Photographs, Manuscripts, Exhibits and subject guides
  3. Visit the Paulson Reading Room and ask a staff member. You can also submit an email query.
  4. Search our Digital Collections (digital resources from University of Oregon and Oregon State University), Archives West (finding aids for primary resources at archives in the Pacific Northwest), or Archive Grid (finding aids for primary resources at archives around the world).

Who can use your collections?

We encourage everyone to come in and use them, including undergraduates, high school students, and the general public. We require that everyone using materials register as a patron, and request materials in advance.

How long does it take?

Researchers must request materials 5 business days in advance of a research visit. You will receive an email notification when your requested materials are successfully retrieved.

Can you help with research?

We provide 30 minutes of reference and research services for our collections. We require a written request by email. For more extensive research assistance we can provide a list of freelance researchers.

Can I make copies?

To protect our materials, we have no self-service photocopying or scanning.  However, we allow non-flash photography under certain circumstances, please see our camera policy.

The UO Libraries offers high-resolution digital files for purchase. Instructions, rates, and policies are described on this Reproductions and Permissions.

Can I just study in your Paulson Reading Room?

No. For the security of our materials, we require that the room be used only for research using Special Collections and University Archives materials. Knight Library has an open Quiet Zone in the south wing, and also offers several individual and group study rooms.

Do you have historic newspapers?

Our department does not have historic newspapers. UO Libraries has several options for accessing historic newspapers:

  • Historic Oregon Newspapers, produced by the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP), offers digitized pages from Oregon newspapers dated 1846 - 2019.
  • The Microforms department holds reels of newspapers from Oregon (including the Oregon Daily Emerald, the Oregonian, and the Register-Guard) and the United States.
  • Additional information about how to access newspapers can be found at Finding Newspaper Resources.

How do I learn about the history of the University of Oregon?

  1. Review our Frequently Asked University Questions.
  2. Search ScholarsBank for university publications including yearbooks, course catalogs, alumni magazines, and theses/dissertations.
  3. Search Oregon Digital for photographs of the history of the University of Oregon.
  4. Search the UO Libraries catalog for faculty papers, or departmental records.
  5. Email our reference account for assistance.

Do you have architectural drawings?

Yes, we have extensive collections of architectural materials, as does the Design Library. Our holdings focus on campus structures and on Northwest architects. Please submit requests for these materials at least 5 business days in advance of your visit.

The official repository of 'as-built' UO building plans is the Facilities Services design office which provides services for consultation and reproduction of drawings.