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 21-January 15

Building and Exhibits

Monday-Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm
Sunday: Closed

Reading Room (In-Person Research)

Monday-Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 9am - 12:30pm
Sunday: Closed

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


  • Sat., Sep. 2: Closed, Labor Day Holiday
  • Mon., Sep. 4: Closed, Labor Day Holiday
  • Sat., Oct. 14: Closed, Fall Break
  • Wed., Nov. 22-Sat., Nov. 25: Closed, Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Sat., Dec. 16: Closed, Winter Break
  • Sat., Dec. 23-Mon., Jan. 1: Closed, Christmas Holiday
  • Sat., Jan. 6: Closed, Winter Break
  • Sat., Jan. 13: Closed, Winter Break
  • Mon., Jan. 15: Closed, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
Aerial view of Spencer Research Library and the surrounding buildings, taken above the Campanile and Memorial Drive.

New at Spencer Research Library

Researcher sitting at a table, working with pages from a photograph album.

Travel Awards: Now Open

Receive funding to travel to Spencer and use the collections for your research. Applications are due by January 2, 2024.
Black-and-white aerial view of a pipe organ under construction.

November-December Exhibit

Learn about the Reuter Organ Company, which has operated in Lawrence for over a century. Open in the North Gallery through January 5, 2024.
Exhibit graphic with a black-and-white headshot illustration of William Shakespeare with the exhibit title, "To the Great Variety of Readers: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio."

Fall 2023 Exhibit

Explore First Folio precursors and successors plus Spencer's Second Folio of 1632 and partial First Folio. Open in the Exhibit Space through January 19, 2024.
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.

Spencer Snapshot, July 2022-June 2023

in-person researchers in the Reading Room
of in-person researchers who are KU undergraduate and graduate students
tours and events for campus, community, national, and international groups
instruction sessions for KU classes, reaching 1,200 students