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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

High school research at UMW

A guide to the UMW Libraries for high school students


The logo of the University of Mary Washington

UMW invites high school students to use its libraries to find sources for their research projects.

UMW offers...

  • More than 300,000 books.
  • Approximately 200 databases, containing millions of articles.
  • A selection of trustworthy websites, recommended by librarians.
  • Instructions for citing sources.
  • Help from reference librarians.
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Search articles, books, and more...


UMW has two libraries, one on the Fredericksburg campus and one on the Stafford campus. High school students are welcome at both libraries.

Simpson Library on the Fredericksburg campus of UMW
Simpson Library (Fredericksburg campus)
The building that houses the Stafford Campus Library.‚Äč
Stafford campus library

Checking out books

If your class visits Simpson Library on a school-sponsored field trip, you may apply for a Guest Patron card and check out books.

  • Up to five books at a time may be checked out.
  • The loan period is 35 days. Books may be renewed up to three times. To renew a book, call the Simpson Circulation Desk at 540-654-1125, or send an email to Our staff can renew the book for you, or create a password that lets you login to your online account and renew books yourself.
  • Guest patrons may not check out DVDs, microforms, current periodicals, reserve materials, electronic equipment, or reference books.
  • Guest patron cards do not grant access to UMW library databases.
  • Cards issued to high school students expire at the end of the school year.
  • Applicants who are younger than eighteen must provide the name of their school and the name of their teacher, and the teacher must agree to serve as a point of contact.

For complete information about Guest Patron cards, see this page.

If you don't want to get a Guest Patron card, you still have several options for using UMW library books:

  • Scanning/photocopying. The library has book scanners and photocopiers. Scanning is free. Photocopies are 10 cents per page (cash only).

A large book scanner, controlled by a touchscreen