Exterior of the North Gallery at Spencer Research Library.

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

We welcome everyone to discover stories from KU, Kansas, and around the world within Spencer's remarkable and diverse collections. Here you can encounter rare and unique items ranging from 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablets to more than one million historical photographs of KU.

Video Introduction

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Location, Parking, and Accessibility

Get details about finding the library on KU's Lawrence campus.

Aeon Login

You need a current user account in our online system, Aeon, to access collections on-site at Spencer.

Spencer Collections

Find information about, and digitized surrogates of, materials in a variety of places.

Citation Guide

Get help citing Spencer materials, especially archival collections, using APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

Current Hours

August 22-January 16

Building and Exhibits

Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Reading Room (In-Person Research)

Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Requests for collection materials are accepted until 30 minutes before the Reading Room closes.


  • Sat., Sep. 3: Closed, Labor Day Holiday
  • Mon., Sep. 5: Closed, Labor Day Holiday
  • Sat., Oct. 8: Closed, Fall Break
  • Tue., Oct. 11: Building and Reading Room open at 11 a.m. for facilities maintenance
  • Wed., Nov. 23: Building open and Reading Room closed, Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Thu., Nov. 24-Sat., Nov. 26: Closed, Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Sat., Dec. 17: Closed, Winter Break
  • Fri., Dec. 23-Mon., Jan. 2: Closed, Christmas Holiday
  • Sat., Jan. 7: Closed, Winter Break
  • Sat., Jan. 14: Closed, Winter Break
  • Mon., Jan. 16: Closed, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
Aerial photograph of the Campanilie with Spencer Research Library and the KU campus in the background.

New at Spencer Research Library

Researcher sitting at a table examining pages from a photo album. Shelves with large volumes of books are behind him.

Travel Awards: Now Accepting Applications

Receive funding to travel to Spencer and use the collections for your research. Applications are due by January 2, 2023.
Exhibit graphic with the exhibit title.

Current Exhibition

Learn more about Spencer's large collection of Italian bound business records, dating primarily from the 16th-18th centuries. Open in the Exhibit Space through January 13.
Student assistant sitting at a table turning the pages of a scrapbook that is being supported by black foam wedges.

Statement on Potentially Problematic Description

Learn how Spencer staff are addressing harmful language in our finding aids, catalog records, and digital descriptions.