Library & Archives

Access to the Library & Archives

On-Site Access

The Library and Archives is free and open to the public. All materials are non-circulating and may only be used within the Library and Archives.

All visitors are encouraged to obtain a free Researcher Card, which may be obtained in person at the Library and Archives by filling out a Researcher Registration Form and presenting a valid photo ID. All visitors are welcome to use the books and magazines housed in the Reading Room without obtaining a Researcher Card, but those who wish to use other materials (including CDs, DVDs, non-current periodicals, and archival materials) will need a Researcher Card to do so.

Most library materials (including books and dissertations, current magazines and journals, sheet music and songbooks, and audio and video recordings) are readily accessible in the Reading Room. Our online catalogs ( and and numerous databases are also available at the eight (8) public computers in the Reading Room. Visitors must follow the Library and Archives' internet use policy.

Visitors are not permitted to play Library and Archives media (such as CDs and DVDs) in their own computers or other playback devices. We have three (3) audiovisual playback stations in the Reading Room where physical media from our collections can be accessed.

Archival collections are stored in non-public, climate-controlled storage areas, and most can be made available in the Reading Room. Patrons wishing to use archival materials must contact us to schedule an appointment several days prior to their visit. Archival materials, back issues of periodicals, and rare books can only be viewed under staff supervision.

Visitors wishing to use archival materials will need to obtain a Researcher Card and follow the policies and procedures associated with the Reading Room.

Research at a Distance

Please note that we do not provide research at a distance. In most instances, the complex nature of archival research does not lend itself to the long distance navigation of finding aids or searches of extensive collections. We are here to provide research support services, but not to conduct the research itself. Such support services include the digitization, cataloging, and processing of collections to make the collections more widely accessible in our online catalog; educational sessions to K-12 and university classes; and programming and other events that provide context and added value to the community.

If your research request for archival materials is specific enough for you to identify what you need from the records in our online catalog, we may be able to reproduce these materials for you for a fee, depending on any restrictions on use and access that may exist. Please contact us in advance to find out.

For requests requiring library resources, please use to search for libraries near you that may hold those materials. Other libraries may also provide access to online databases to help with historical newspaper and periodical research.

Beyond this, we recommend that you contact an independent researcher in our area who can conduct research for you on-site. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives
2809 Woodland Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44115 | 216.515.1956 |