Using the Library

About The Huntington Library

The Library at The Huntington is an independent library for advanced research in the humanities. Each year, the Library welcomes hundreds of new readers from over 30 countries to conduct research in its collections and answers thousands of remote reference queries from all over the world.

The Library is open to registered readers: to apply for reading privileges, please review the Library Access Policy below.

For general admission and hours to the gardens and galleries, please see the Visit page on The Huntington's main website.

Library Resources

The Library welcomes inquiries about its collections and requests for reproductions from everyone, including members of the public and off-site researchers. Questions may be submitted via the online form or by emailing

The Library’s growing open-access digital collection, the Huntington Digital Library, includes digitized photographs, documents, manuscripts, maps, prints, audiovisual materials, and other items related to Huntington history. When digitized versions of items within collections are available, the digital files are linked from catalog records and finding aids.

Ordering Images

The Aeon system is used for ordering digital prints, digital copies, and digitization services for materials contained in The Huntington's collections. Anyone may create an Aeon account to order Imaging Services, including members of the public and off-site researchers who do not already have an Aeon account with The Huntington. No letters of reference are needed.

Current/past readers should use their preexisting Aeon account to order reproductions.

Create an Aeon account for Imaging Services »

Library Access Policy

Qualified researchers may create an Aeon account to apply for on-site Library access. Applications typically take 1–3 weeks to process depending on when the letters of reference are received.

To apply for reading privileges for on-site Library access, please read through the three categories for applicants, detailed below. Any required reference letters should be sent from the referee’s institutional email address to

All applicants, regardless of category, must be engaged in research in an area well-supported by The Huntington's collections.

Qualified researchers, once approved, are granted reader status for one year with renewal contingent upon meeting the qualifications.

Create an Aeon account to apply for on-site Library access »

Please note that undergraduate, masters, and other students do not qualify under the three categories below.


  • Current or retired full-time faculty affiliated with an institute of higher learning
  • Current librarians or curators from research institutes
  • Letters of reference are not needed
  • Processing time of one (1) week

ABD PhD Candidates

  • PhD students who have advanced to candidacy and are engaged in dissertation work
  • Must provide one (1) letter of reference from their dissertation adviser, submitted to
  • The letter should confirm the applicant's academic status and should describe the nature of the proposed research and the need to consult The Huntington's collections
  • Processing time of three (3) weeks

Independent Scholars

  • Writers, teachers, artists, booksellers, or other unaffiliated professionals
  • Must be working on a project which requires access to Library collections to complete
  • Must provide two (2) letters of reference from scholars or professional associates who are familiar with the applicant's research and can attest to their need for access to The Huntington's collections, submitted to
  • The reference letters should note specific collections the applicant wishes to consult, the applicant's relevant publications, and any other accomplishments, training, or information that should be considered during the review of the application
  • Processing time of three (3) weeks