Guidelines for On-Site Research

By appointment only, Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm.  Other hours may be possible if Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum (ONHM) staff are available to assist.

All researchers must complete the information request form in advance so that the office can prepare for your visit. Once you have completed the request form, a member of ONHM’s staff will contact you within 5 business days to set up an appointment to discuss your visit. Depending on your interests, you may be able to conduct a preliminary search of our holdings via our website: and our online catalogue:

If you are collaborating with others on a research initiative, please try to limit your party to two people per visit so that ONHM staff can better attend to your individual needs. Accommodations can be made for larger groups with advanced notice.

While you are conducting research on site:

  • You must check-in each day and indicate that you have read and agree to abide by these rules.
  • Bags and coats must be left in a separate, safe area. For security reasons, anything you bring into the research area will be subject to check by ONHM staff when you arrive and before you depart.
  • All food and open containers are prohibited in research areas. Closed water bottles are allowed, but they must be kept off the research table and away from all ONHM materials.
  • Our stacks are not open to researchers, and all of our materials are non-circulating.
  • Scans and photocopies can be made by request. Non-flash photography and personal scanning devices are permitted.
  • ONHM staff will bring two boxes of materials at a time to researchers. Materials must be put back where found.
  • Only pencils are allowed in the research area. Erasers and ink pens of any type are prohibited.
  • No sharp objects are allowed in the building.

Planning your Visit

ONHM is located in Building 60 (The Cloisters), which is located on the northwest corner of the NIH Bethesda campus. However, the NIH campus is a closed campus, and all visitors must go through NIH security to enter the campus. For information about visiting the NIH campus, see

Transportation and campus access

By Metro, bike or on foot            

  • The Bethesda campus is accessible via the red line at Medical Center station and via several bus lines. Additional information on the DC transit system can be found here:
  • If you are travelling by public transportation, by bicycle, or on foot, you will be screened at the NIH’s Gateway Center, which is located at the top of the escalators of the Medical Center Metro Station on the Red Line.
  • For the screening, you will need a valid ID and the name and phone number of the ONHM staff member you are working with.
  • Once you have completed screening, you will enter the NIH campus through the back doors of the Gateway Center. After you pass through the turnstiles, you will be at a campus shuttle stop. Take the Campus Route (Red Line) and let the driver know that you are going to Building 60.
  • You can also walk to Building 60 in about 20 minutes. However, due to the many construction obstacles, we strongly recommend taking the shuttle for your first time.

By Car

  • If you are driving, you must enter through the Vehicle Inspection Station. The entrance is off Rockville Pike (Rte. 355), just south of the entrance to the Medical Center Metro Station. An area map is available here: Or you can type “NIH Visitor Vehicle Inspection Station” into GoogleMaps for directions from your location. There are road signs on Rte. 355 as you approach campus to assist you in navigating.
  • Once you arrive, you will have to step outside your car, have your driver’s license copied, and walk through a metal detector. Please note that your car will be searched. NIH security will ask what building you are going to. ONHM is located in Building 60. This link provides helpful information about the screening process:
  • When you have completed the inspection, ONHM is located at 1 Cloister Court. However, due to construction a less direct way of accessing Building 60 must be used. It is best to navigate to NIH South Drive Entrance, which is on the other side of campus from the Vehicle Inspection Station. Once there, instead of following the cars exiting campus there will be a one-lane brick road immediately to your right with a sign saying “Safra Family Lodge.” Take that right and you will be deposited into the Building 60 parking. For clarification, please call your contact beforehand and, if all else fails, you can pull in front of the guard station at South Drive and ask for assistance to Building 60. Please call the ONHM staff member who is expecting you to assist you with parking.
  • A campus map is available here:


  • All food and open containers are prohibited in research areas. If bringing food with you, ONHM is happy to accommodate refrigeration needs and to show you areas where you can eat away from historic materials.
  • There are many locations on campus to purchase food. The closest location for small snacks is a vending machine located in Building 60, and the closest location for more substantial food is the Clinical Center.
  • Besides Building 60 and the Clinical Center, there are cafeterias, coffee bars, and food trucks with a wide array of food options throughout the campus as indicated on this map: