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NYPL Special Collections Account - User Guide: Scheduling an Appointment

This is a reference guide for researchers using the Special Collections account at NYPL (

On This Page

  • Proposing an Appointment via the Collection Request Form
  • How to Cancel or Reschedule Appointments
  • About the Calendar

Proposing an Appointment

After you have selected the items from the collection that you wish to see in the Collection Request Form, scroll to the bottom of the form to the Appointment Information section to propose an appointment date.  You will be able to book a new appointment or associate the request with an existing appointment. The reading room will be already selected for you. (For researchers visiting the Library for the Performing Arts, disregard the appointments section in the form. Performing Arts staff will contact you regarding appointments availability once you have made your requests.) 

To propose your appointment date, press the Request New Appointment button. A calendar for the reading room you are planning to visit will drop down in the form. 


  • First, choose your date. Crossed-out dates are unavailable. 
  • Next, select the preferred Length of Appointment. This will vary from reading room to reading room.
  • Then, choose your Appointment Time. Options will vary depending on what you've chosen for appointment length.
  • Appointment Topic is optional - you may name your appointment, or put a subject or topic in the space, or you may leave it blank.
  • Lastly, click on Create Appointment. The calendar will close, and your proposed appointment will be put into the Appointment field.

If you have already proposed an appointment via another request, you can associate this new request with your existing appointment. Click on the Appointment field and select your existing appointment from the resulting dropdown menu.


Please note that each appointment needs to be approved by Library staff. You will receive an email confirming your appointment or requesting additional information. Please note that appointments and requests are not transferrable: you cannot view materials from one reading room in another reading room or Research Center.


How to Cancel or Reschedule Appointments

Your Special Collections account will allow you to reschedule or cancel your appointment if you need to. To do this:

  • Click on the View Appointments icon on the Home page of the Special Collections account. (You may also go to the My Appointments menu and go to Scheduled Appointments.)
  • Go to the Actions menu of the appointment you need to modify.

  • To revise your appointment, select Edit Appointment, choose a new date on the calendar, and press Submit Appointment.
    • When you reschedule your appointment, all associated requests will be moved to this new appointment date.
    • Note that this new appointment date must be confirmed by staff.
  • To cancel your appointment, select Cancel Appointment and your appointment will be canceled.
    • Note that if you cancel an appointment, all requests associated with that appointment will also be cancelled.

If you want to keep your appointment date but need to modify the materials you want to view, you should:

  • Click on the View Active Requests icon on the Home page of the Special Collections account. (You may also go to the My Research Items menu and go to Active Requests.)
  • Go to the Actions menu of the request you need to modify.

  • You can select Edit or Cancel Request from this menu.
    • If you select Edit, you can also associate this request with another appointment date you have scheduled and it will be removed from the appointment with which it is currently associated.
    • If you no longer need to see this material, you can select Cancel Request.

NOTE: Some reading rooms require a certain number of days in advance for you to modify your requests and appointments via the Special Collections account. If you try to make changes within the number of advance days before your scheduled appointment, the system will not let you (edit and cancel options will not be available). In these cases, please email to notify us of your changes.


About the Calendar

Each collection is stewarded by a specific research division at the Library and must be viewed in the reading room for that division.  Each reading room has its own appointments calendar.  Once you've selected material to request, you will automatically see the calendar for the relevant Reading Room. (For researchers visiting the Library for the Performing Arts, there will be no calendar available. Performing Arts staff will contact you regarding appointments availability once you have made your requests.)

Some things to note:

  • Different reading rooms across NYPL Special Collections may have different opening days and times, as well as different seat capacities.
  • Please choose only one date. Additional appointments can be requested by submitting additional appointment requests.
  • Certain reading rooms have seats that you book for the entire day, regardless of when you arrive. In these cases, the start and stop time will be pre-set for you.
  • Each appointment is not approved until you receive a confirmation email from Research staff.
  • Some reading rooms do not require advance notice to access materials. Please contact the division in which you are interested to learn if walk-in visits can be accommodated.