Planning Your Visit
The Special Collections Research Center is closed following protective measures put in place by the University for COVID-19. We will continue to monitor email throughout this time and support your research as best we can through available online resources.
The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and its collections are open to the GW community and the public. The SCRC is committed to being an innovative and inclusive academic special collections through the open sharing of resources, non-restrictive access policies, and collecting practices that prioritize adding a wider diversity of perspectives to the historical record.
Spring 2020 Hours: Closed for on site research until further notice (as of March 14, 2020)
Contact us with any questions.
The Special Collections Research Center is located on the 7th floor of the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library of George Washington University, 2130 H Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20052. We are open to the public, though non-GW visitors will be required to show a photo ID at the library entrance and inform entrance staff they are here to visit Special Collections.
Gelman is located near the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metrorail stop (blue, orange, and silver lines) and the Farragut North station (red line):
From Foggy Bottom Station (5 minute walk)
Upon exiting from the Foggy Bottom station turn right and proceed down 23rd.
When you get to H, turn left.
Gelman Library is located on the right hand side between 21st and 22nd street.
From Farragut West Station (12 minute walk)
Proceed down K st to 21st street.
Turn left on 21st street.
Then turn right onto H. Gelman Library will located on the left hand side between 21st and 22nd street.
Traveling by car
The university's "Our Location" website offers maps, directions, local lodging and dining options, and more.
How to Request Materials
1. Request material before you visit. The majority of the archival, manuscript, and rare book collections in the SCRC are housed offsite and require 3-5 business days for retrieval.
2. Select a reasonable amount of material. Staff will place requests for up to 10 boxes per patron per research trip. If you are planning a long term research visit and know you will need to see more than 10 boxes, please speak with the staff member handling your request to determine a timeframe for placing a second box order.
3. Contact the SCRC to place your order. The best way to reach us is via email, but you may also place box orders over the phone (202-994-7549) or in person at the SCRC reference desk. You will be contacted by a staff member when your boxes have arrived and are available for your use.
4. Provide detailed information. In order to fulfill your request for archival collections, we will need the collection call number (e.g. MS2044), title, and the series (if applicable) and box numbers of the material you wish to see. For books, maps, and other cataloged material, we'll need a title and call number, or a link to the library catalog record.
The Special Collections Research Center and its collections are open to the GW community and the public. Please review the guidelines for use prior to your visit.
For those patrons who are unable to visit, but have an in-depth research question, please see this list of local, independent researchers for hire, compiled by the U.S. National Archives.
*Saturday appointments must be made no later than 5 PM the Wednesday prior. To make an appointment, please email us or call 202-994-7549.
*To see complete hours for Special Collections including holiday closures, see the Gelman Library Hours and Holiday Closures