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Visiting Scholars



Stanford University defines Visiting Scholars as academic and non-student researchers who:

  • Are invited by a school, department or other Stanford entity to visit the University without being paid as faculty members or employees.
  • Hold a doctoral degree or are recognized experts in their fields.
  • Must be resident at Stanford for a minimum of 1 quarter.
  • Contribute to Stanford's academic and research mission by lecturing or actively collaborating with Stanford faculty or students on current Stanford research.

Scholars who do not meet all these criteria may still be eligible for some level of privileges. Refer to the Other Scholars section below.


Library Privileges for Visiting Scholars

Obtaining an ID Card -

Researchers who meet the University Visiting Scholar requirements are eligible for Stanford University ID Cards.  ID cards are issued at the Stanford Card Office, located in Forsythe Hall.


Library Privileges -

Stanford ID cards give you access to the SULAIR libraries. They do not automatically grant borrowing privileges.

To apply for borrowing privileges, you will need to:

  • Visit the Privileges Desk in Green Library.
  • State your status as a Visiting Scholar and present the University-issued ID card.
  • Provide permanent and local address information.
  • Sign a form agreeing to follow SULAIR policies and return books.


  • Visiting Scholars must present a Stanford ID Card at any SULAIR library to borrow materials.
  • SULAIR will no longer issue internal ID cards for these patrons - you must obtain your card from the Stanford Card Office.


Spouses/Domestic Partners -

The spouse or same-sex domestic partner of a Visiting Scholar may obtain access privileges (with the same expiration date) by applying at the Privileges Desk.


Library Privileges for Other Scholars

Visiting Scholars who are not eligible for a University ID have the option to use the libraries as a visitor, or apply for a library card.

Visiting the library -

You are eligible for 7 days of free access visits to the libraries during a 12-month period, starting the day you register as a visitor. (Visits need not be taken concurrently.) Further visits may be purchased.  See our Visitor Access Policy for details.


Applying for a library card -

If you feel there is a demonstrated scholarly need for you to obtain access or borrowing privileges, you may apply by filling out the Visiting Scholar application form, available at the Privileges Desk during library hours:

  • Please fill out the form completely:
    • You must fill in your information (including permanent and local address.)
    • You must sign the form, indicating that you will follow SULAIR policies and return books.
    • The head of the department sponsoring your visit must fill in their section and sign the form to sponsor your privileges.
  • Bring the completed form in person to the Privileges Desk during loan desk hours.

Note: We no longer accept the paper "Visiting Scholar" cards from departments for this purpose. You must submit a signed letter to be considered for privileges.


Contact Information:

Privileges Office, Green Library
Stanford, California 94305-6063

Hours: staffed during Circulation desk hours
Phone: (650) 723-1492
Fax: (650) 723-3992

Last modified: July 30, 2011

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