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First Year Guide: Home

A guide for first years, designed to help them learn about the library and conducting research

In This Guide

This guide is designed for first year students, to help them learn about conducting research and the resources that the library has available.

Welcome to Hamilton!

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FYE FYI- Things to Know About the Library

Burke Library Hours

Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Spring break
Last week of classes and finals

Where to study in Burke
There are individual and group study areas on all three floors of the library, with the areas getting quieter as you climb. The library's All-Night Reading Room is accessible 24-hours a day!

Burke Library has more than . . .
600,000 printed books, over 200,000 e-books, and access to full-text articles from over 27,000 unique print and electronic journals. Find what you need by searching the catalog from the tab on the library home page. If you've found what you're looking for, keep in mind that:

  • Your Hill Card is your library card.
  • Books may be checked out for an entire semester. DVDs are loaned for three days.
  • All books are due on the last day of final exams. Books may be recalled after two weeks if requested by another researcher.

Need research help?
Ask a Librarian. Research librarians are available to help with all aspects of using the library, from locating resources to starting work on a research paper. Reach us at the Info Desk, by phone, email, and chat.

Still can’t find what you need?
Interlibrary Loan allows students to borrow materials from other libraries when Burke Library doesn’t own them.  Ask a librarian for more information and consult the interlibrary loan page for additional details.

Has a professor told you that there are course materials on reserve?
Materials are placed on reserve when they are likely to be in high demand at some point during the semester. The library provides online access to reserve readings required for classes whenever possible. In cases where this is not possible, items may be checked out for a limited period at the circulation desk. For more information visit the reserves page.

Need help with and support for your computer?
The Help Desk staff will be happy to answer your questions and assist you with your computer problems over the phone or in person (by appointment). Visit the Help Desk on the first floor of Burke Library, next to Circulation Desk.

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. 

Have a digital media project?
Educational technologists are available to assist students with projects from the initial assignment through delivery. Additionally, Digital Media Consultants are available until midnight at the Info Desk to assist students using technological resources. If you are a student interested in using these resources for class assignments of extracurricular purposes please contact

Burke Library has some outstanding special collections . . .
of rare books and other materials affording students an excellent opportunity to conduct research using primary sources.  Of particular note are: Special Collections Hours

Monday - Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday 5:30 -9:30 p.m. (by appointment only)
Sunday 5:30 -9:30 p.m. (by appointment only)

Please confirm staff availability before planning a visit. Contact Christian Goodwillie or Mark Tillson.

  • The Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection comprises 1400 manuscripts and 1800 printed volumes produced in, or pertaining to, the smaller Caribbean Islands dating from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Many of the manuscripts contain primary source information relating to slavery.
  • The Communal Societies Collection comprises thousands of manuscripts and books relating to American intentional communities dating from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, including: Shakers, House of David, Community of True Inspiration (Amana Society), Harmony Society, Kerista, Rajneeshpuram, Koreshan Unity, and many others. Many of these groups challenged conventional social and sexual mores, gender roles, and economic arrangements, with most favoring economic equality among their membership.
  • The Ezra Pound Collection comprises thousands of manuscripts and imprints relating to Pound, his family, and his literary circle. Pound was central to the development of American and European literature in the twentieth century. Primary source materials in this collection include the Omar S. Pound Archives, as well as Pound's own files from his stay at St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital.

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