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Visiting the Herskovits Library: Overview

Before you come

Map of Africa - 1777The Melville J Herskovits Library of African Studies is located on the 5th Floor east tower of the University Library. The self-serve areas of the Herskovits Library collections are open to the public when the University Library is open to the public.

The Herskovits staff are available to assist visitors on weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 p.m. 

Please contact us in advance of a planned visit. Email is best:

It will be helpful to let us know when you plan to visit (the specific dates) so that we can help with your registration with library security, as well as your area of interest. As you discover specific materials that  you wish to examine, send that information to us before your visit as well so that we may make them ready and available for you.

The more we know about you and your research project beforehand, the better and more efficiently we can help you when you visit.

Visitor Information & Resources

Entering the Library

Anyone without a Northwestern affiliate ID must register in order to enter the library. As part of the registration process, these individuals must present one of these pieces of photo identification: driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID.  Registered patrons will be given a barcode to use to enter the building which will expire at the end of the day’s public hours.

Click here for more information for out-of-town visitors to Northwestern Libraries.

Getting to the Library

Northwestern University's visitor's information page contains links to resources on getting to campus, including by public transportation and by car (including parking information).

For public transportation options, consult the CTA Trip Planner from the Chicago Transit Authority. The closest train stop is the Foster stop on the Purple Line train; for buses, the 201 bus stops at Sheridan & Foster.

Also consider Uber or Lyft

The Library's Plan Your Visit page offers more detailed information about how you can visit and use the collections. 

The address for the Main Library is:

1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300

If you follow the Driving to Campus directions and park in the garage next to the Segal Visitors Center, the Main Library is a short walk north.

Walk from Garage to Library