Access for Special Borrowers

Please note that library services for guests and special borrowers is limited at this time. Special Borrower Card holders may request books through PittCat and Ask Us about arranging a date/time for pickup! For Fall 2021, only Special Borrower account renewals are being processed. New accounts are not being issued. Please Contact Us with any questions.

Print collections

While the ULS provides reasonable access to the collections for all categories of users, the ULS does make a distinction between access (library use) and borrowing (home use) privileges. In general, guests may request items from the Thomas Blvd location for use on-site at the Archives Service Center or use the collections at ULS locations, but cannot borrow materials for use at home without a Special Borrower's Card.

  • If you are not affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, you may purchase a Special Borrower's Card by e-mailing us with your request. The cost of the card is $20 for Pitt alumni lifetime (membership card required), $25 for Pitt alumni (confirmed via Pitt Alumni Office Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-4 p.m.), and $100 for all others.
  • The card is valid for a period of one year, but DOES NOT permit access to library-licensed online resources.
  • Non-Pitt patrons without a ULS Special Borrower card may request to view up to five items from the Thomas Blvd location by emailing us with your request. Please note: requests for materials may take 3-4 business days to be fulfilled and materials will be made available for access in the Archives Service Center Reading Room or in the Special Collections Reading Room (under certain circumstances, as needed).
  • Reciprocal borrowing accounts for local/regional University affiliates, including Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and PALCI members, are not being renewed or issued at this time. Please contact your local college or university library for assistance locating library materials.
  • Archives, manuscripts, and rare book collections are available through Archives & Special CollectionsContact us for more information. 
  • Certain library resources are available to the public, including special digital collections, any open access electronic books and journals, and PittCat, the online library catalog.

Online Services

  • Assistance is available in using PittCat, the online library catalog. Questions? Ask Us!
  • For services available through Archives & Special Collections, please see our web site or Ask an Archivist. 
  • Brief answers to user reference queries will be provided virtually. For queries that require extensive research, visitors should consult their own institutions' libraries or their public libraries, where further services may be available. Users from Allegheny County, for example, can take advantage of the resources and services of the EIN and the Carnegie Public Library
  • Questions? Ask us!