Planning your visit

The Lilly Library at Indiana University is one of the best facilities in the world to satisfy your curiosity, whether you are conducting academic research or exploring a new interest in a special subject area. 

Located in the heart of IU’s Bloomington campus, the library attracts a wide range of visitors, from students intrigued by our exhibits on topics such as Orson Welles’ films or comic book heroes to world-renowned researchers seeking that one-of-a-kind book or book or manuscript only the Lilly Library can offer.

We invite you to visit, whatever your interests.

Join our weekly tours or explore on your own

We offer two tours every Friday afternoon. At 1:00 PM, learn about the Jerry Slocum Collection of mechanical puzzles with Curator of Puzzles Andrew Rhoda. At  2:00 PM, a general tour kicks off in the North Gallery, covering the history of the Lilly Library and featured items from our permanent and special exhibitions.

No need to register, just drop in!

If you'd rather explore on your own, we get it. Stop in anytime. Our main exhibition galleries are always available to view. Smaller exhibition areas double as classrooms so might be unavailable at times. And if you want to see our amazing Reading Room murals, stop by on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. when the room is open for viewing.

If you want to use the Reading Room

We welcome researchers of all kinds to our Reading Room. Before you visit, please create an account in the Lilly Library Request System. By creating an account in the Lilly Library Request System,

  • You are registering to work in the Lilly Library Reading Room. Presentation of valid photo-identification is required when you visit the Reading Room.
  • You have secure access to your current and past requests.

Please make an appointment at least two weeks in advance of your visit. We recommend contacting us even earlier if you are traveling from out of town. This helps us make sure materials are ready and available when you arrive. We'll let you know if we can't access the books and manuscripts you need.

Request System  Let us know about your plans

Traveling to Bloomington

By air

Flights to the Indianapolis International Airport will get you as close as possible by air. The IU campus is less than 60 miles from the terminal.

By shuttle

GO Express Travel offers numerous round trips per day from the airport terminal to several locations in Bloomington and on campus.

By rental

All of the major car rental companies serve the Indianapolis International Airport.

By limo, taxi or ride service

Classic Touch Limousine offers ride sharing as well as private car service.

Bloomington is home to three taxi companies: Red Tire Taxi; White Cab, (812) 334-8294; and Yellow Cab, (812) 339-9744).

Uber and Lyft are active in both Indianapolis and Bloomington areas.

On campus, you may stay at the Biddle Hotel, conveniently located in the Indiana Memorial Union, which also features dining, bookstores and entertainment.

Bloomington boasts many bed and breakfast inns, hotels and motels. To see a list, check out the Visit Bloomington website.

Parking is limited on the IU campus, and most parking around downtown Bloomington is metered.

Indiana Memorial Union’s pay lot is closest to the Lilly Library. Rates are by the hour, and the Lilly Library will validate your parking ticket so that you may receive a reduced rate. If you are staying at the Biddle Hotel, you also receive a parking discount in this lot.

East Parking Garage also offers pay parking by the hour.

You also may purchase a short-term parking pass from IU Parking Operations.

In addition to metered parking, the City of Bloomington has one parking garage nearby at Seventh and Walnut streets.

During your visit, take in a play, hear jazz or stroll through a campus that often is cited as the most beautiful in the U.S. Enjoy a walking tour of campus, mingle with some of our 40,000 students at soccer, basketball or football games, or enjoy tasty treats at in the Indiana Memorial Union.

South Central Indiana offers a multitude of activities and entertainment. Monroe County is home to the state’s largest man-made body of water, Lake Monroe, as well as state and national parks.

Visit Bloomington offers a guide to all that our city has to offer.

Schedule your visit

Check our calendar below then use our Ask a question form to plan a research visit.


Loading calendar...