“Only a small percentage of the Department’s collection is available in the MBLN catalog. In order to access all of the holdings, researchers must check the card catalog in the Rare Books Reading Room and the microfiche catalog located throughout the Central Library. The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department has recorded certain of its manuscript and book collections in published catalogs and bibliographies. Among them are catalogs of the Prince, Adams, Barton, Ticknor, and Brown dramatic collections, as well as the followings listings of smaller or partial collections: American Literary Manuscripts, A Checklist of American Political Manuscripts, 1774-1940; Bibliotheca Barbadiensis; A Checklist of the Robert Feer Collection of World Fairs of North America.” –http://www.bpl.org/research/rb/resources.htm
1. When you need to find the resources and materials you need, the first step is always to approach the front desk and ask for help. The librarians will be able to guide to the right catalog book or be able to tell you where in the index catalog found within the Rare Books room.
2. After finding what you need approach the desk again to fill out the “Boston Public Library Request Form”. This form (seen below) will get you the book, journal, or written text that you want to research.
3. Enjoy! You have completed all the necessary steps to find new discoveries within the BPL Rare Books Collection.
There are other additional resources listed on the BPL website that are not available in the collection: