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Library services for visitors: Access to collections

Information for visitors to the MIT Libraries

Service update

The MIT Libraries are implementing a phased plan for providing access to physical collections. We will update the Libraries’ service updates page as services evolve. Library locations and study spaces remain closed until further notice.

Most services will be limited to current MIT faculty, students, and staff. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Access to collections

  • All visitors (see Special user types) may access the MIT Libraries' open stack collections, government depository material, Distinctive Collections, and the Library Storage Annex (see below).
  • Access restrictions apply during exam periods in December and May (see Library Hours for dates).
  • Public access to Barton, the MIT Libraries’ online catalog, is at
  • At their discretion, the MIT Libraries may limit or refuse access by individuals or groups whose behavior fails to comply with the Libraries' Guidelines for Use.
  • Access to some electronic resources is restricted to current students, faculty and staff of MIT, due to licensing agreements. Details are available at service desks.

Government Documents

As a selective US Federal Depository Library, the MIT Libraries will provide access to government information in accordance with the requirements of the Depository Program.  Depository users must adhere to the same standards of behavior expected of other library patrons.

Distinctive Collections

Includes the Institute archives, plus other rare and unique materials. Most of the collection is stored off-site. See the Distinctive Collections page for further information.

Library Storage Annex

See the Library Storage Annex page for further information.