Visit \\ Hours & Information

Visiting the Reading Room

The Phillips Library Reading Room is located at 306 Newburyport Turnpike in Rowley, Massachusetts. Parking is free and widely available.

Drop-In Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM*
By Appointment: Mondays and Fridays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Phillips Library will be open for select extended hours starting in Fall 2018.
*although appointments aren’t required during these times, we strongly suggest contacting the Reference Team prior to your visit, so that we can better serve you by having materials pulled from the stacks for your arrival, and to ensure a research station during your visit.

We are closed for the following holidays:
New Year’s Day, January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day, third Monday in February
Patriots’ Day, third Monday in April
Memorial Day, last Monday in May
Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, first Monday in September
Columbus Day, second Monday in October
Veterans Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25

The Phillips Library is free and open to researchers of all ages and levels of interest in our collections. The library does not lend materials, but any person interested in using the collections can register as a researcher and use materials in the library’s Reading Room. We are a closed-stack library. This means readers cannot browse the shelves themselves. Staff members will retrieve the requested items and bring them to patrons in the reading room. If you need assistance identifying materials, you can email us in advance at or ask for help at the reference desk. Our current Reading Room policies can be viewed here.

Visitors must present a recent photo id to the security guard on duty. Visitors are required to leave coats, briefcases, backpacks, handbags, pens, scanning equipment and all food and drink in lockers outside of the Reading Room. Laptop computers, notebooks, and pencils may be brought inside. Cell phones and electronic devices must be silenced or turned off.

All researchers must check in with a librarian upon arrival in the Reading Room. Registration forms must be updated once per calendar year acknowledging compliance with our current Reading Room policies. Our Reading Room can seat 14 researchers at a time; drop-ins will be accommodated on a first come first served basis. If we have reached our capacity, you may be asked to wait in the lobby until space becomes available.

Contacting the Phillips Library

Please contact the Phillips Library reference staff by calling 978-745-9500 ext. 3053 or emailing with any questions.

You can also follow the Phillips Library on social media on instagram @pemlibrary or twitter @pemlibrary.

Searching the Collections

The Phillips Library’s collections can be searched through our online catalog, Philcat. For more information on using and searching Philcat, see our Philcat Search Strategies. With a Philcat account you can save searches to re-run in future, mark records for printing, exporting, or emailing, and add records to a list to save for later. Email to have an account created in your name (please provide us with a permanent address).

Manuscript collections can also be searched in Philcat. For more in-depth information about individual collections and their contents, search for a collection’s Finding Aid in CONTENTdm. For more information on using and searching finding aids, see our Finding Aids Search Strategies.

Reproduction Services

Researchers are welcome to take their own photographs, for research purposes only, according to the Personal Photography policy.

Reference staff can provide a limited number of photocopies. Photocopy requests must be approved by a librarian. Requests are considered on a case by case basis, and depend upon the size, binding, condition, copyright, and any relevant donor restrictions. Reference staff will determine whether material can be copied and will do their best to meet reasonable requests. The Library’s charge for reproduction does not imply an authorization for publication or reproduction. Please fill out our Rights and Reproduction application to request authorization to publish.

All photocopies will be made by a staff member. We strive to complete orders within a reasonable amount of time; expected delivery time will be discussed when an order is placed. A fee of $.50 per printed page or $1.00 per manuscript page will be charged for each copy. Shipping charges will be added when applicable. Copies from microfilm can be made by library patrons at the microfilm copier for $.50 per page.

(The above pricing information is subject to change.)

We encourage patrons to visit our library to conduct their own research, though we understand it is not always possible. We are happy to help with quick requests, but those requiring more in-depth research may incur a fee which must be authorized in advance. The Reference Department staff will contact you regarding your request to discuss charges and issue an invoice if necessary. Please understand that we cannot guarantee results, but every effort will be made to assist you, and we will document all sources that we consult during the course of our research.

Research requests may be made in writing by post mail or email. Please allow four to six weeks for a response to your request from the time of its receipt. Requests are handled in the order in which they are received. Research Request Form [PDF Format].

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