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Special Collections and Rare Book Department: Schedule a visit

Outlines major collections, provides links to finding aids and describes services of the Special Collections and Rare Book Room at Western Michigan University.

Things to know this week

Our hours vary throughout the year.

Academic year, when classes are in session:  Monday-Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM

Summer, when classes are in session:  Monday-Friday, 10 AM - 3 PM

Between semesters or during breaks, when Waldo Library is open:  by appointment

For appointments, please email or call 269/387-5221 at least one business day in advance.

Waldo Library's hours are listed at:

Special Collections Facilities Policy

Instructor answering questions of students consulting rare books


Class meetings and course-related activities involving Rare Book Room materials or projects are the first priority for use of the reading room or Meader room, so that research activities and reading room service may be maintained. Activities in the Edwin and Mary Meader Rare Book Room must pertain to and be within the educational goals of the University. They should in some way promote scholarly activities or the appreciation and love of books.


For further information, see the document Meader Room Policies and Fees linked from the box entitled "Scheduling Events or Meetings".

Student in-class discussion in Rare Book Room


Planning a class visit

Students consulting rare books during a course visitClass meetings can be scheduled in the Rare Book Room if the class will be consulting materials from the Special Collections and Rare Book Department.  Classes may not be scheduled in the room simply because an instructor  prefers the location.  Instructors are expected to fill out an instructional request form at least 10 business days prior to their class meeting and to provide the staff with information about what they expect their students to gain from the visit so that the most appropriate materials can be selected and a session plan can be developed. 

Rare Book room staff reserve the right to limit the number of books provided for examination per class period in order to preserve fragile items in the collections.

If you'd like more information about ways to use our materials in instruction, please consult the instruction page or email Susan Steuer.

Visiting for Research

Researcher taking notes on a manuscript

All researchers are welcome to visit the Reading Room during open hours from 9 am  to 5 pm, Monday to Friday during academic sessions.  Researchers can also make appointments to make sure materials and staff will be available.  Please contact us for further information at 269/387-5221.

Scheduling Events or Meetings

Activities such as poetry or book readings, academic lectures by eminent researchers and receptions are accommodated when staffing allows.  All requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For further information, consult the policies and fees document at the bottom of this box.

Basic information:

  • Meetings or events must be scheduled at least 10 business days in advance.
  • Instructional or research-related requests supersede meetings or events.  Should a class meeting be scheduled after a meeting reservation is confirmed, the meeting reservation can be cancelled up to 9 business days before the meeting.  
  • Meetings outside of the Department's normal working hours, or when classes are not in session, or that last over four hours will incur a fee.
  • Events, classes and meetings will not be scheduled back-to-back.
  • The room may not be reserved as a back-up for meetings or events.
  • Furniture may only be moved under the supervision of Rare Book Room staff.  Arrangement needs should be discussed at the time of scheduling.  Groups with specific arrangement needs should send a representative at least 2 hours prior to the event if specific requests are to be accommodated. 
  • Groups from outside the University require a University sponsor.

Rare Books, Cistercian & Monastic Studies, Medieval Studies

Susan Steuer's picture
Susan Steuer
3017 Waldo Library
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008