Merrill Learning Center, Library Service Desk, Room 1000
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Gallaudet University Library's mission is to serve students, faculty, staff, and other researchers from around the world by providing access to research materials and the information literacy skills students will need throughout their lives.   In addition to the world's largest collection of deaf materials, the Library builds, maintains, and organizes a collection of general online and print books, journals, databases, videos, and other materials to support academic programs. The Library also maintains a small collection of popular videos and books for students' pleasure viewing and reading.  Librarians create instructional tools and aids to make these collections accessible, teach classes in their use, and assist individual students and researchers.

The Gallaudet University Archives is the world's largest repository of material on the history of deafness and Deaf Culture. It also collects the institutional records of Gallaudet, and its Manuscript Collection includes letters, speeches, and other writings produced by Gallaudet presidents, famous Deaf people, and organizations for the Deaf. The Archives'  files contain over 80,000 photos from the history of Gallaudet and Deaf culture, as well as portraits and biographical files of prominent Deaf people. The Archives is also the home of Gallaudet's rare book collection, which holds books on sign language, Deaf education, and Deaf Culture dating back to the 16th century.

Community members can access the Library catalog, journals, databases, and other resources from the Library web site. The Library web site also offers many online guides to help students and visitors start research in Deaf and other disciplines. Librarians are available to answer questions and help students with research in person, through videophone (202-779-9478), email (, and real-time chat accessible on the Library web site.

The Library's Group Study Rooms, which include large display monitors, provide space for group study and collaboration. A quiet study room is available for students who prefer to study without visual and aural distractions. Round study tables and moveable white boards are available throughout the public spaces in the building. Students may use individual study carrels and tables for private study. Comfortable chairs and couches give students a place to relax when they need a study break.

Through Gallaudet's participation in the Washington Research Library Consortium (, the Gallaudet community has full access to the library collections at eight additional area universities, including the right to borrow materials from those libraries. The shared catalog for the WRLC libraries includes more than 12 million items.