Access Special Collections

The Penn Libraries’ unique and notable collections items include annotated musical scores, photographs, medieval manuscripts, LGBTQ comic books, and more. Make an appointment to view material in-person in a designated reading room, arrange a class visit or activity, or request digital scans for remote research.

Ask a Question

Have a question about anything Penn Libraries, from the policies of a specific library building to help finding a book or article? Get in touch!

Open Canvas for Penn Learners

Penn faculty and staff can use Open Canvas for Penn Learners to create and host online courses and events for non-Penn-affiliated audiences. Courses and events created hosted by Open Canvas do not require a PennKey to attend.


Request items from our catalog, Franklin, for pick up from the library that is most convenient for you. Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and the Dental Library offer the option to pick up at contact-free automated lockers (Dental lockers are available only for Dental students). You will have seven days to pick up your items once your request is ready.

Request a Collections Purchase

Wish something that you've read or used could be added to our collection? We welcome purchase suggestions from members of the Penn community.


Skip the circulation desk and borrow books and materials from the Penn Libraries on your own. Download the UPenn Self-Checkout app to scan items with your smartphone, or use one of several Meescan kiosks in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and other select library locations.

Text and Data Mining Support

Interested in identifying patterns, relationships, and trends through the computational analysis of large amounts of textual or structured data, from newspapers to literature to social media posts? Subject specialists can assist with accessing corpora, while staff on the Research Data and Digital Scholarship Team can train you in techniques such as web scraping, topic modelling, and sentiment analysis.