The Hesburgh Libraries system consists of nine libraries that house most of the books, journals, manuscripts, and other non-book library materials available on the campus. Currently, the collections contain over 3.3 million volumes, more than 3 million microform units, more than 34,000 electronic titles, and more than 28,850 audiovisual items in support of the teaching and research programs.
The Hesburgh Library is the main library at the University of Notre Dame. Historically, it is the third building to house the University's library collection. (See also Chronology of Notre Dame Libraries). The Library was built on the historic Cartier Field on which Knute Rockne's teams played, and opened its doors on September 18, 1963, as the Memorial Library, at the start of Notre Dame's 122nd academic year. In 1987 it was renamed for President Emeritus Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.
The Library is a massive structure, 210 feet tall on a site 315 feet square. The interior is fully 429,780 square feet gross, with two large lower floors capped by a narrower, nearly windowless tower of 13 stories with a smaller penthouse at the top. The two lower floors feature a more liberal use of glass along with brick and tweed granite, and the upper stories are finished in Mankato stone. The building faces south, and it is on the south side that one can see the distinctive Word of Life Mural.
With its size, prominent location and eye-catching mural, the Library attracts the attention of even the most casual visitor, and asserts itself as a dramatic symbol of Notre Dame's aspirations to academic excellence. The building thus functions within a time-honored tradition in which respect for learning is made tangible by the special place accorded to library architecture in the overall context of a campus.
Visitor Parking Lot near the Hesburgh Library: D Bulla Lot at (corner of Bulla Rd. & Twyckenham Dr.)
*Note: The Hesburgh Library, its collections and services, are open to visitors; however, after 10:00 pm the doors will lock. At this time, access to the library requires a ND ID card to enter the building. Visitors in the building will be asked to leave, and the building is exclusively for the academic use of current students, staff, and faculty of the University of Notre Dame.
Research Workstations: The Hesburgh Library has 14 "Research Workstations" that do not require an ND login.
Guest Workstations: There are 2 workstations in the Lower Level that include access to the internet, and are intended for research.
ND-Guest Wireless: Guests no longer need a user name and password to connect to the ND-Guest network. Printing is not available.
Note: The University of Notre Dame guest wireless network is provided as a convenience for University visitors and guests, and its use is not warranted in any way, express or implied, by the University of Notre Dame. Your use of the network is solely at your own risk and is subject to all applicable University policies. There is no guarantee of network performance. Individual access to the network, or the entire network’s availability, may be suspended or terminated at any time at the University's sole discretion.
Black & white copiers are available to visitors. Copy cards may be purchased in $1.00 increments. Copy cards are available from a vending machine on the first floor of the Hesburgh Library near the Circulation Desk. Copies are $.10 per page. Some of the copiers feature the option to email a scan. Scans to email are free of charge.
Copiers are located on the 1st, 2nd, 7th and 12th floors of the Hesburgh Library.
There is no charge for scanning to email. Overhead scanners (you can see the image after it is scanned) are located on the Lower Level, 1st, and 2nd floors. Choices include Color, gray scale, or black & white. Please ask at any service desk if you need assistance using the scanner. You can also use copiers to scan and email material. Scanned copies can be sent to your email, or saved on your USB.
Printers are not available to visitors. You can scan printed materials at no charge, or use a USB drive at no charge to download information from an electronic resource.
Many of the electronic resources listed on the Hesburgh Libraries' website are provided
through library paid subscriptions.
Electronic resources that are not subscription-based are freely available to the general public.
Due to contractual limitations we are unable to provide off-campus access to our electronic
resources to anyone other than Notre Dame students, faculty or staff.
To find a list of electronic resources, and more, by subject, click here.
The University of Notre Dame online catalog of materials is accessible from any location. ND subscription databases will not allow access to materials while searching from off of campus. However you will find citations on your subject, and with these citations you can go to your local library (where you have a card) and request materials through their Interlibrary Loan Department.
Additional citations can be found at: Google Scholar. You can then request materials through your local library.
Many free databases are listed on the Hesburgh Libraries Reference Online guide. Materials on the guide have been selected by librarians.
Borrowers must present their current University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, Holy Cross or Bethel College ID to check out circulating and reserve materials. Borrowing privileges are extended to:
Everyone is welcome to make on-site use of the libraries; however, those who do not have a current, formal relationship with the University of Notre Dame might be able to obtain a Special Borrower’s card which provides limited borrowing privileges for items in the circulating collections . The Special Borrower’s card does not include personal or off-site access to the libraries’ online licensed resources or services such as document delivery or interlibrary loan.
Community members 18 years of age or older, with a valid government issued picture ID with current address may apply to become a Special Borrowers if one of the following criteria applies: see Circulation - Borrowing
Visiting Faculty to the University of Notre Dame can obtain a ND ID through approval from their Department.
Attendees at a conference at the University of Notre Dame may be able to obtain a temporary ID through the approval of the sponsors of the conference.
The two (2) reciprocal borrowing programs in which the Hesburgh Libraries participate are:
ALI (Academic Libraries of Indiana): Notre Dame Faculty, Staff, Graduate, and Undergraduate students are eligible for borrowing privileges and on-site access to collections at all ALI institutions.
OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program: Notre Dame Faculty are eligible for borrowing privileges and on-site access to collections at other participating institutions. Over 175 major research libraries in the United States and Canada participate in this program. Please contact Circulation Services to see if the institution(s) you plan to visit participate in this program.
Reference librarians and research assistants are available at the Hesburgh Libraries Reference/Research Help desk during scheduled hours to help users locate answers to questions and how to use use a wide range of library resources in print and electronic formats. Computer workstations are available for users to consult library catalogs and databases. Reference Librarians are also available by phone, e-mail and chat through the Ask a Librarian service.
Ask a Librarian
221 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame, IN 46556
All libraries and departments
Find staff or departments