Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program

Visiting the Polar Archives during COVID-19

Archives Reading Room: Access during COVID-19

The University Archives, The Ohio Public Policy Archives and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program are all part of The Ohio State University Libraries Special Collections.  The Archives Reading Room is used primarily for individual research and for use of the archival collections.

The reopening guidelines for the Archives Reading Room have been compiled by University Libraries staff with guidance from the University Libraries, the University, CDC Guidelines, and results from OCLC/Batelle/Columbus REALM project.  Continuance of services will depend on guidelines from the State of OhioThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and The Ohio State  University Libraries.  We will also depend on visitors to follow the recommendations and cooperate with the guidelines on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.


Masks are now optional in most indoor spaces on Ohio State campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, recreation facilities, offices and the Ohio Union. The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations, child care centers and on public transportation. Specifics of the university’s mask policy are posted on the Personal Safety Practices page of the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Planning your visit

Reading Room appointments are required and are available for scheduling during the following times:

Monday: 9 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday: 9 am - 4:30 pm
Wednesday: 9 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 4:30 pm
Friday: 9 am - 4:30 pm

Appointments are required to ensure material can be prepared in advance.  Email us at to schedule an appointment.

Appointment date and time must be confirmed. Do not visit unless you have received your confirmation.

Staffing availability may require cancellation of appointment.  You will be notified as soon as possible if this were to occur.

Send us a Request List
To find items relevant to your research, see our Special Collections Registry. Or contact an archivist at or 614-292-2409.  In the list, be sure to include important details about the item, including the folder title and box number, so we are sure to prepare the correct item. 

Submit Research Application 
Please complete a Special Collections Research Application in advance of your visit, if you have not done so within the current calendar year. A staff member will send you this form, along with instructions, via email.

Review Reading Room Policies
Effective August 2, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks inside the University Archives. To read more about the university policies regarding COVID-19, please visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes web site.

In addition, please review our Reading Room Policies.  These policies are in place to preserve and protect collection materials.  

Consult with Library staff 
If you have questions regarding your research, or if you need help finding materials, we recommend consulting with library staff in advance.  Please contact us at:

Day of your Visit

If you are feeling ill or have any symptoms of COVID-19, cancel your appointment and reschedule at a later date. 


We have metered parking spaces available for patrons without a University parking pass. The meters cost $2.25 per hour, and they take either quarters or credit cards.

You can also pay for parking online using the CampusParc.

Arrival & Sign-in
We are located at the University Archives/Library Book Depository Building, on West Campus, at 2700 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210.

Store Belongings and Set-up
We will ask that you place all personal belongings in the assigned lockers provided (located just outside the Archives lobby door). All food and drink must be disposed of outside of the library.

We will ask that you begin your research with clean hands.  Restrooms are located in the hallway to the right, which leads to the Book Depository.  Hand sanitizer will be available only after your research is complete.

While you conduct your research, you may have paper and pencils, or a laptop computer at the table with you. No other materials will be permitted.  As a precaution to protect library materials, pens may not be used for note-taking during research.

Using materials
You are permitted one box at a time and may only use one folder at a time.  As you finish with each box, you may return it to your book truck in exchange for another. If you would like to page additional items, there may be limitations to paging materials the same day.  Please ask staff for assistance.

Computer Access
Bring your own laptop or tablet as no public computers will be available.  

Wireless access is available through WiFi@OSU.  Instructions for setting up access can be found through our OCIO Department.

High-Resolution (600dpi) Reproductions – High-resolution (600 dpi) scans are available upon request. Turn-around time for orders is normally 5-10 business days. 

Photocopy Reproductions
Photocopy reproductions are available upon request.  Turn-around time for orders is normally 5-10 business days.

To request photocopies, you will be asked to mark items for reproduction with placeholders and to compile a corresponding list of the items to be reproduced.  

If you would like photocopies from a folder of loose pages, please leave the items in their original order, and use the placeholders to distinguish the locations of your requests.

Digital Photography
If you plan to take photographs with a camera, please let archives staff know in advance by contacting:

The Ohio State University Libraries do not own the copyright to all of the materials in its collections. Copyright may belong to the creator, their estate, or assignee, although some materials may fall into the public domain. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, securing appropriate permissions for use and publication of reproduced materials, and fully crediting sources as required under the Research Registration & Handling Policy. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction of a copyright protected work for purposes beyond those permitted by the copyright owner or any statutory exception, including fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Ohio State University Libraries do not make any representations as to the validity of third-party copyright claims.

Wrapping up
When you have completed researching for the day, please inform the Archives staff member that you have finished.