The John Hay Library is under renovation June 1, 2013 until Fall 2014
Please see:
     John Hay Library Renovation
          regarding limited access to the collections and further updates

During the renovation, there will be no access to the Hay building and limited access to Special Collections & Archives materials. Special Collections staff will not be able to provide access to materials from the John Hay Library on demand.

Hours: M-F, 9:30-4:30 (reading rooms will close at 4pm during intersession: Jan. 2nd through January 21st)
Reading Room hours are subject to change.

Rockefeller Library, A-10
10 Prospect Street
Providence, RI
(401) 863-3723
Library Collections Annex
10 Park Lane
Providence, RI
(401) 863-2148


Special Collections materials placed on reserve by individuals affiliated with Brown University or materials located at the Library Collections Annex (as denoted in the Josiah catalog record) will continue to be available throughout the renovation period.

Individuals affiliated with Brown University may use the Reading Room in the Rockefeller Library or at the Library Collections Annex (10 Park Lane, Providence, RI). Individuals not affiliated with Brown University may use the Reading Room at the Library Collections Annex (10 Park Lane, Providence, RI).

Requesting access to Special Collections materials is a two-step process:
  • Request materials: E-mail to verify special collections materials are on reserve or to request materials. In order to ensure requests are met in a timely manner, researchers are encouraged to request materials at least one week in advance of visits. Please see HAY at ROCK for a list of Special Collections materials currently on reserve at the Rockefeller Library. The list takes several seconds to populate due to its length. This list is not comprehensive as it does not always include materials requested from the Library Collections Annex.

  • Make an appointment: E-mail before noon on Friday the week prior to the requested appointment(s). Please specify the date(s), time(s), and Reading Room (Rockefeller Library or Annex). Due to space limitations, the number of appointments available each day will be limited.
Please visit the John Hay Library Renovation website for current information on the progress of the renovation.

John Hay Library

20 Prospect St / Box A
Providence, RI 02912
» Get directions

(401) 863-3723

The John Hay Library houses the University Library's collections of rare books and manuscripts, the University Archives, and many special collections on a wide variety of topics. Notable areas of strength include American literature and popular culture, political and diplomatic history, the history of science, book arts and graphics.

The John Hay Library opened in November 1910, serving from that time until 1964 as the main library of the University. It was designed in the English Renaissance style by the eminent Boston architectural firm of Shepley Rutan & Coolidge. The Library is named for John Hay, class of 1858, who served as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary during the Civil War and later became Secretary of State. His papers and personal library form part of the collections at the John Hay.