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The Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room is home to the divisional catalogs, reference collection, and reference staff. Collections are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults behind the walls and above the ceiling of the reading room.
Rare Book and Special Collections staff can help locate material relevant to your research using the online catalog, the card catalog, and their own expert knowledge of the collections. This material cannot be requested through the online catalog, instead researchers will write call numbers on a paper request form in the reading room.
Visitors are welcome to stop by to take pictures of the room, without flash, including the first edition Book of Mormon on display. (This book has also been digitized and can be seen online.
The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 1 million items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815. The Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room is modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall. This room is home to the divisional catalogs, reference collection, and reference staff. Collections are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults.