Using Aeon to Request Materials from SLPL

Customers can access St. Louis Public Library’s Special Collections and image collections, as well as set up appointments to view items and request digital images, by using Aeon.

Getting Started Using Aeon
To get started, customers will first need to create a free account at Aeon here.

What Is Aeon?
Aeon is software specifically designed to provide access to special collections and images in libraries and archives.  The St. Louis Public Library implemented Aeon on June 1, 2022.

Customers can use their Aeon accounts to:

Aeon also offers additional features for users, including the ability to:

  • View research history
  • Add personal tags to requests for specific projects
  • Pay for orders online
  • Export citations to use with various services

Registration Overview
The Rare Books and Manuscript Department welcomes researchers from all over. Items held in this department of the St. Louis Public Library are non-circulating and must be consulted in the departments on the third floor of Central Library.

Individuals wishing to make an appointment can do so through Aeon. The online registration form constitutes an agreement by the researcher to comply with the Library’s stated policies for use of its materials.  Your registration remains active for one year and can be renewed from your Aeon account at any time.

How to Schedule an Appointment
Appointments can be made for the Rare Books and Manuscript Department and the Steedman Architecture Library.  Appointments run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Monday through Saturday.  A minimum of 2 days advance notice is required for requesting appointments.  All items housed off-site must be requested at least 48 hours in advance to ensure availability.

Conditions of Use
The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department and the Steedman Room welcome all researchers.  Materials in these departments are unique or rare, and some are in fragile condition.  Researchers must handle all materials with care, to avoid loss or damage, and by following these conditions of use, which are designed to protect the collections while providing the best possible access to our researchers.  Current photo identification may be required to use materials in the Reading Room.  The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department and the Steedman Architectural Library are under camera surveillance. Staff are available to answer questions about our procedures and to otherwise assist researchers.  

General Rules

  • The Reading Room is reserved for the active use of Special Collections materials only.
  • No ink may be used in the Reading Room.  Pencils are available for use.  Laptop computers, tablets, and phones may be used.
  • Containers are not permitted in the Reading Room.  All bags, etc. must be stored in the available lockers.
  • Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and cell phone conversations are prohibited. 
  • Researchers are expected to abide by the SLPL Appropriate Use of the Library policy.
  • All personal items brought into the Reading Room may be subjected to inspection at the reference desk upon departure.

Using the Reading Room

  • All Special Collections materials must remain on the surface of the table.  Reading Room staff will provide book cradles, book weights to hold pages open, and/or gloves, when appropriate.  When in doubt about proper handling, please consult Reading Room staff.  We are happy to help.  
  • Please leave materials “as-is”:  do not make any marks in/on materials.  Likewise, do not remove annotations, fasteners, or flags found in materials.
  • Archival and other loose materials require special care.  Be sure to maintain their arrangements.  Please alert desk staff if you suspect irregularities in arrangement or preservation issues.
  • Only one folder from a box of archival materials may be removed at one time.  Place the Out Card at the location from which you removed the folder.

 Using Cameras

  • All photographs must be for personal research use only.
  • Researchers are responsible for complying with all intellectual property laws.  
  • Handle all materials with care.  Materials must remain on the table or on appropriate book cradles.  Reading Room staff may assist in positioning the item so that it is fully supported.  Furniture may not be rearranged.  

Email or  If you are running late or unable to make your appointment, please let us know.  Note that emails sent to these addresses can only be answered during normal Library business hours, Monday-Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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