© Elizabeth Felicella / ESTO

Study Room visitor guidelines

The Study Room is currently open to the Yale community and non-Yale researchers who have registered with the University as users of the special collections. For detailed instructions, please refer to the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale

Onsite rules

The terms and conditions for using of the Study Room are as follows:

  • In order to conduct onsite research, you must bring your Yale ID or your email with approved Visitor Vaccination Form and check in at museum's Information Desk.
  • You must request materials at least two business days in advance and have a confirmed appointment reservation. *Please note that some materials may be unavailable or take longer than two business days for retrieval.
  • Contact ycba.studyroom@yale.edu to make arrangements, and a follow-up email will be sent when an appointment is confirmed. Appointments can be scheduled from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am–noon and 1–3 pm. Reservations will be scheduled in one-hour blocks.  
  • Due to limited capacity, there may be a waiting period for appointments. We encourage you to reserve a seat as early as possible. Study Room staff cannot provide drop-in or same-day access.
  • Personal belongings will be placed in a cubby before accessing requested material. *Please remove any loose objects from your shirt pockets to prevent anything from accidentally falling on, or touching, works of art. Long jewelry, scarves, neckties, and ID badges should be secured or removed. Study Room staff will also examine all notebooks, folders, and reference books when a patron exits the room.
  • All devices should be silenced (mobile phones, cameras, tablets, etc.).
  • No food, drink, candy, or gum is permitted in the Study Room.

If you do not follow any of these guidelines, you may not be granted access to the Study Room.

Handling guidelines


  • Please use pencils only. The use of pens, markers, and adhesive materials (including Post-it notes) are not allowed. When taking notes, do not place papers or note-taking devices on top of any artworks.
  • Please do not use a pencil or any other sharp item to point at an object.
  • Sketching from works in pencil is permitted. Tracing from works is not permitted.
Additional guidelines for handling prints and drawings


  • Works are to be viewed face up on a clean surface or propped on easels. Never place a work of art face down or allow it to hang off the table.
  • To open a mat, please open it like a book, from the outer edges, and never by reaching through the window.
  • When working with a group of matted works, handle them one at a time, always using both hands on the edges to lift. Place the work in a pile, face up, before moving to the next.
  • To examine the reverse side of a work, ask a Study Room staff member.
Additional guidelines for handling rare books and manuscripts
  • Place bound works (printed books, albums, and sketchbooks) in the provided book stand.
  • Please avoid touching the surfaces of the pages more than necessary, turning pages carefully.
  • Do not strain the binding of any book by trying to press the pages flat. Use only the provided weights to keep the work open.
  • Strips of acid-free glassine can be used to mark a page.
  • When reading single-sheet works (manuscripts and broadsides), notes must be taken on either the provided hole-punched notepaper or directly into a laptop computer.


  • Nonflash photography for research purposes only is permitted with permission from Study Room staff. When using handheld cameras, mobile phones, and tablets, please do not hold them directly over the artworks, as they may cause damage if they are dropped.
  • Digital files of many of the works in the YCBA’s collections are in the public domain and available, free of charge, through the YCBA’s online collection catalogue. Under Yale University’s Open Access Policy, anyone may use the museum’s open-access material without further application, authorization, or fees due to the YCBA or to Yale.
  • To request an image of a work that is not illustrated online, or to request digital files in sizes or formats beyond those offered, you may submit an electronic request by following the “Request Photography” or “Request Additional Photography” links found within individual object records. You may also complete an Imaging Request Form online.

Additional terms and conditions for using the university’s collections apply. Please refer to the Yale University User Agreement for Special Collections.

For further information, please contact the Study Room at ycba.studyroom@yale.edu | +1 203 432 2840.