St. Olaf Libraries

Visit Special Collections


Access to items in Rolvaag Library’s Special Collections is by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Patrons must schedule appointments at least 24 hours in advance (the more lead time you can give us the better), and appointments are limited to 2 hour sessions. Patrons needing more than two hours with an item or items are encouraged to schedule additional appointments.

Library Special Collections Item Request Form

Users of Special Collections materials must bring an Ole Card or other form of photo-identification, and will be asked to provide a signature. The items you have requested will be retrieved for use under the supervision of a library staff member. All items will be returned to Special Collections before the library closes.

Questions concerning policy governing the development and use of the collections should be directed to Mary Barbosa-Jerez, Head of Strategy for Library Collections & Archives, at, or 507-786-3226.

Use of Materials

Patrons are reminded of the following rules for use:

  • Materials do not leave the library, and must be used in our specially designated area, and under the supervision of a Special Collections staff member.
  • Absolutely no food or liquids of any kind on or around the designated area.
  • You will be asked to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling items.
  • Book cradles should be used as directed by library staff.
  • The use of pens is not permitted, but pencils and laptops may be used for making notes. Pencils are available for patrons to use.
  • Bags and coats may not be brought into the designated area. Library staff will make arrangements for securely storing your personal items while you work with the materials.
  • We do not provide photocopying or other kinds of reproduction services, but with the permission of our Special Collections staff, patrons may take photos of materials using their own smart phones or cameras.
  • Permission to take photographs may be denied depending on the fragility and condition of the item.
  • Follow all other rules for use as described by library staff.

Class Use

St. Olaf faculty are welcome to use the resources in our special collections in their classes. We will work with you to find a classroom space in the library where the materials can be used under the supervision of a library staff member. Please open a support ticket to schedule a class visit.