Special Collections

Special Collections Reading Room Use

Special Collections maintains two reading rooms, one for Rare Books and one for the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library. Please take note that procedures and policies vary slightly for each reading room. Special Collections is located in Pius XII Memorial Library. Upon entering the library, all students, faculty, and staff must present a Saint Louis University ID. All other visitors must present a valid photo ID and sign in at the front desk of the library.

Rare Books 
Location: Pius XII Memorial Library, Rm 307 
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–1pm, or by appointment

All users of the Rare Books reading room must sign in and register before using materials. On each subsequent visit, users must sign in, but do not need to re-register. To register, a patron must present a Saint Louis University ID or other valid photo ID and complete a patron registration and user agreement. Materials may not be removed from the reading room and while in use they are the responsibility of the patron who requested them until they are returned. Patrons agree to the follow conditions of use:

  • Coats, bags, and umbrellas must be stored in lockers. Only a notebook, laptop computer, camera or cell phone, and pencil may be used alongside the materials.
  • No food or drink, including bottled water, is allowed in the reading room.
  • Pencils only may be used. No pens or ink may be used near the materials.
  • Handle all items with care. Use foam supports with rare books, turn pages carefully, make no marks on the materials, and do not lean or rest books or other objects on them.
  • Only one book at a time may be used without special permission.
  • If a copy is required, please consult a staff member to determine the most appropriate form of reproduction for the format and condition of the material.
  • The use of personal digital cameras is permitted, but patrons must follow the Policy for Use of Hand-Held Digital Cameras. Please consult with a staff member before using your camera.
  • When finished with materials, please inform a staff member. We collect all materials ten minutes before closing. You may place an item on hold for future use.

Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library 
Location: Pius XII Memorial Library, Rm 105 
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm 

All users of the Vatican Film Library reading room must sign in on each visit before using materials. No ID is required. Reference materials may be removed from the reading room only with the express permission of staff. Medieval manuscripts and manuscript facsimiles may not be removed from the reading room and while in use they are the responsibility of the patron who requested them until they are returned. Patrons agree to the following conditions of use: 

For all classes of materials

  • No food or drink, including bottled water, is allowed in the Vatican Film Library reading room.
  • If a copy of reference materials is required, please consult a staff member to determine suitability and condition of materials.
  • When finished with reference materials or microforms, please place them on the reshelving counter.

For medieval manuscripts and manuscript facsimiles

  • Coats, bags, and umbrellas must be stored separately from materials. Only a notebook, laptop computer, camera or cell phone, and pencil may be used alongside these materials.
  • Pencils only may be used. No pens or ink may be used near the materials.
  • Handle all items with care. Use foam supports with bound materials, turn pages carefully, make no marks on the materials, and do not lean or rest books or other objects on them.
  • If a copy is required, please consult a staff member to determine the most appropriate form of reproduction for the format and condition of the material.
  • The use of personal digital cameras is permitted, but patrons must follow the Policy for Use of Hand-Held Digital Cameras. Please consult with a staff member before using your camera.
  • When finished with materials, please inform a staff member.