Owing to the complex nature of archival research we encourage you to make an appointment. This allows staff to carefully review your request and work with you to ensure the materials you wish to consult are ready for your visit as some collections are held off-site.

Researchers who wish to continue working at a distance can continue to contact us with research requests and staff will work virtually with you.

We also invite you to visit the Waterloo Digital Library to view a selection of digitized items.

Where are we?

Special Collections & Archives is located on the bottom (first) floor of the Dana Porter Library. Enter the library through the front doors, then go down the stairs to your right (across from Browsers Coffee Shop), or take the elevator down to the first floor. We are behind the display cases!

View of entrance to Special Collections & Archives


  • Monday: by appointment only
  • Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
  • Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
  • Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
  • Friday: by appointment only

Please consult the University of Waterloo Library Hours of Service before coming to the Library.

Before you come

Are you coming to consult one of our collections? Let us know ahead of time so we can pull the material and have it ready for you when you arrive.

If you plan to use our overhead scanner, don't forget to bring a USB flash drive or memory key.

Coming from off-campus?

  • Directions to the campus
  • Campus map (we are LIB)
  • Campus parking. If you come in the middle of the day, finding parking in a central location can be challenging.

    The closest parking lot to the Dana Porter Library is D Lot. The cost is $2.00/hr to a maximum of $15.00 (going up to $3.00/hr to a maximum of $21 on May 1st). Guests can utilize this lot by driving up to the gate and pressing a button for an entry ticket. On exit they would insert the ticket and submit credit card only (no Debit or Visa-Debit) payment for the duration they were in the lot.

    If the cost is an issue, the closest $5.00 flat rate parking (going up to $7.00 May 1) is available in C Lot across University Avenue. Guests can purchase a pay-and-display slip at one of the two pay machines to display on their dashboard. The cost is $5.00 and they can use either coin or credit card only. (no Debit or Visa-Debit).

    As of May 1st,
    all lots will transition to a standard payment system with mobile payment options for short-term parking.