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Schedule a Visit

The Othmer Library will be closed on
Monday, February 19,
in observance of Presidents’ Day.


The Othmer Library is open to researchers by appointment.


Research Inquiries

Make an Appointment

Before Visiting

  • While not required, you may request items in advance of your visit. Materials will be retrieved by library staff and brought to you in our Reading Room.
  • If you are interested in viewing rare books or archives, please read the special policies below.

Location, Hours, and Contact

We are located at

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Email: reference@sciencehistory.org
Phone: 215.873.5146

Our hours are Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

We are closed on the following holidays:

Reading Room Procedures

  • Upon arrival provide a current photo identification and fill out a registration form.
  • Place umbrellas, backpacks, or briefcases into a locker.
  • Use only pencils or laptops for note taking.
  • Use of digital cameras is permitted for research purposes.

Special Policies for Accessing Rare Books and Archives

  • Before your visit please provide a list of books and/or archives you plan to view. Email reference@sciencehistory.org.
  • Research hours for rare books and archives are 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
  • For photocopies or scans, make a request through library staff, who will scan materials. There are fees for copies.

Travel Grants

The Othmer Library offers travel grants for periods of up to two weeks for research visits. Applicants must currently reside more than 75 miles from Philadelphia in order to be eligible. Travel grants are $750 per week and are intended to help defray the costs of travel and accommodation. Learn how to apply for a travel grant or contact travelgrants@sciencehistory.org.