Using the Library

The Huntington’s Library is an independent research center for the humanities that welcomes qualified researchers (known as readers at The Huntington) from all over the world. Over 1,700 researchers from over 30 countries conduct research in the Library every year.

Become a Reader

The Library reading room and materials are available to registered readers. To apply for reading privileges, determine whether you qualify as faculty, ABD Ph.D. candidate, or independent researcher and submit your application online. Supplemental documentation such as letters of reference may be required and applicants must show a current institutional or government-issued photo I.D. on arrival. All applicants, regardless of category, must be engaged in research in an area well-supported by The Huntington's collections.

Researchers who cannot access the library in person or who do not qualify for reader status may consult Library Services for research alternatives.



  • Current or retired full-time faculty affiliated with an institute of higher learning
  • Current librarians or curators from research institutions


ABD PhD Candidates

  • PhD students who have advanced to candidacy and are engaged in dissertation work
  • Applicants must provide one (1) letter of reference from their dissertation advisor
  • Letters for ABD PhD candidates should confirm academic status and should describe the nature of the proposed research and the need to consult The Huntington’s collections
  • Undergraduate, masters, and other students do not qualify for this category


Independent Scholars

  • Writers, teachers, artists, booksellers, or other unaffiliated professionals
  • Applicants must be working on a project which requires access to Library collections to complete
  • Applicants must provide two (2) letters of reference from scholars or professional associates who are familiar with the applicant’s research and can attest to their need for access to The Huntington’s collections
  • Letters for independent scholars should note specific collections applicants wish to consult, the applicant’s relevant publications, and any other accomplishments, training, or information that should be considered during application review
  • Undergraduate, masters, and other students do not qualify for this category


Letters of reference should be sent to or mailed to The Huntington, Attn: Reader Services, 1151 Oxford Road, SanMarino, CA 91108.

Apply for reading privileges

Library Catalog

Digital Library

Research Resources

Become a Reader
Aeon Login
Library Collections
Search Tools & Guides
Library Services
Ask a Librarian
Library Contacts

Hours for Researchers

Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tues., Thurs.: 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday and major holidays: CLOSED

Rare materials may be consulted in the Ahmanson Reading Room 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

About Fellowships

Available Fellowships
Joint Professorships/
Collaborative Fellowships
Apply for a Fellowship
Fellowship FAQs
Awarded Fellowships