University of Pittsburgh's Homepage

For the Non-Pitt Community

Our collections and services are staffed and funded to serve the scholarly needs of the University of Pittsburgh faculty, students, and staff; however, we welcome the Pittsburgh community and visiting researchers to access our major academic research library.
Please note that priority is given to the University's faculty, students, and staff, and services for other visitors are subject to some restrictions on their use. Visitors may not find the same kinds of information or resources that they encounter in a neighborhood library or at their own academic institution.
While it is the policy of the ULS to provide 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.

Services available to visitors


  • In general, you may use the collections within the ULS 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 at the Donald S. Wood Service Desk on the ground floor of Hillman Library
  • The cost of the card is $50.00 for Pitt alumni and $100.00 for all others. The card is valid for a period of one year, but DOES NOT permit access to most licensed online resources
  • Several local colleges and universities have made arrangements with us to cooperatively allow for books to be borrowed. If you are a student at one of these institutions ask your librarian about this reciprocal borrowing program
  • Assistance using PITTCat+, the online library catalog
  • Access to print books and journals in libraries on a self-help basis
  • Access to certain library resources open to the public, such as special digital collections any open access electronic books and journals, and PITTCat+, the library online catalog
  • Access to Pitt’s licensed electronic resources is available. Visitors from the community and visiting researchers may ask for a temporary guest computer account password at any ULS library. Valid photo ID is required. The temporary guest password may be used at any ULS public device. Please note that there is no printing service associated with access to our electronic resources and the ability to download content may be restricted by certain content providers. Your access will expire at the end of the day (11:00 p.m.) you received the password.
  • Assistance in locating appropriate collections and services
  • Limited telephone and e-mail assistance. Telephone and e-mail requests will be handled along with in-person requests in the order received
  • You may access materials of interest in the collections of the Archives Service Center
  • Brief answers to user reference queries. 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.
  • Non-Pitt patrons without a ULS Special Borrower card may request to view storage materials by emailing us with your request.  Please note: requests for materials may take 3-4 business days and are limited to 5 items.
  • Questions? Ask us