I tried to request a "SpecMat" item from the online catalog, but the system would not let me. The record says "Request in the Science/Business Reading Room Only." What do I do?

If you come across a catalog record with the message "Request in the Science/Business Reading Room Only" under Item Availability and the call number includes the phrase "SpecMat" you will need to fill out a paper call slip in the Science/Business Reading Room, located on the fifth floor of the John Adams Building. 

"SpecMat", or Special Materials include items such as pamphlet boxes, miniatures, folios, loose sheets/plates, and boxed sets that require more secure conditions to serve the material. As such, they must be requested in the Science and Business Reading Room at the book service desk using a paper call slip. Once the form is turned in, it will take a couple of days for the item to be retrieved from offsite storage and delivered to the book service desk in the Science/Business Reading Room. The item must then be used in the Science and Business Reading Room and cannot be taken out of the Reading Room.

For those readers only able to be in the Washington D.C. area for a limited time or only able to make a single visit to the Library, Science or Business reference staff can place a request for SpecMat material on your behalf. Please submit an Ask-Librarian request to the Science Reference Section at least three business days in advance, specifying which SpecMat materials you wish to request, and when you plan to visit. If you have previously done research at the Library, and have a reader card, please include your reader card number as well. 

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2023
Views: 24

Learn More

More Resources

Follow Us

Additional Ways to Contact Us

Send written correspondence to:

Science, Technology and Business Division
Science Reference Section
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4751