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Using Special Collections and University Archives: Identify, locate and request materials

Discover and engage with unique and historic research materials

Using Special Collections and University Archives

Both Stanford community members and outside researchers are welcome to use Special Collections and University Archives materials. Please note that the vast majority of collections are stored off-site. Patrons must request materials two full business days before the planned date of use. In some cases, paging may take up to a week. All materials can be paged online through a user’s Aeon account via the Online Archive of California (OAC). Additionally patrons can edit and track their requests through the Aeon portal. Those who are unable to visit in person can request digital copies of files(up to 100 pages). Please contact Special Collections via email with questions or concerns about requesting materials.

Request materials to view in person

From Searchworks:

  • Locate the collection’s catalog entry using the search bar. Limiting SearchWorks results to Library -> Special Collections is the most effective way to narrow a search for materials in Special Collections.

  • Use the blue “Request via Finding Aid” button -> “Continue to be taken to the collection’s OAC catalog entry.

  • Select the “Request Items” button to open the Aeon login page. This can also be done from “Printable Guide” ->  “Request Items”.

  • Stanford affiliates select the “Log in with SUNet ID” option. External visitors (you do not have a SUNet ID) select “Log in or create an account” 
  • Returning users use Aeon login information to access account. 
  • First time users will need to register using the "First time users" button.


  • Once logged in use the check boxes in the finding aid to select materials for use.

  • Fill out the “Request information” section. Note that most fields are not required. Select “Schedule appointment” under “Request type” the reading room location will be auto selected based on the collection. If you have already scheduled an appointment, use the drop down to select the date that you would like to view materials. For new appointments double click the “New appointment” button.

  • Double click the time and date of your planned appointment. Note that 2 full business days are needed to retrieve materials and thus time slots within 2 days will not be available.

  • Once your appointment is listed in the appointment box, select “Submit request”. 
  • Requests will be viewable on your Aeon account.