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

May 5-August 24

Building and Exhibits

Monday-Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Reading Room (In-Person Research)

Monday-Friday: 10am - 4pm

Saturday-Sunday: Closed

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


  • Fri., May 24: Closed, building maintenance
  • Mon., May 27: Closed, Memorial Day
  • Wed., June 19: Closed, Juneteenth
  • Thu., July 4: Closed, Independence Day
Pink flowers with Spencer Research Library's North Gallery in the background.

New at Spencer Research Library

Photograph of a stack of three books.

March-April Exhibit

Learn about the variant bindings of three copies of a text that were separated in the past and reunited at Spencer. Open in the North Gallery through April 27.
KU's Common Book, "Parable of the Sower," in a sunny field.

KU Common Book Exhibit

See published and unpublished materials by and about Octavia E. Butler from Spencer's science fiction collections. Open in the reception area through April 2024.
This image has the name of the exhibit."

Spring-Summer 2024 Exhibit

Explore a selection of bookbinding models that represent common types of bindings across time and cultures. Open in the Exhibit Space through August 16.

2023 Spencer Snapshot

in-person researchers in the Reading Room
of in-person researchers who are KU undergraduate and graduate students
tours and events for campus, K-12, community, national, and international groups
instruction sessions for KU classes, reaching more than 1,300 students