Information About the Berntsen… | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
UNW Response to Covid-19


When classes are in session:

7:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Research Desk:
9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Students say the Library...

...connects us to lots of information and resources and friendly librarians that are ready to help with questions. an inviting place that inspires study and productivity in groups or alone.

We think that means learning happens best in community. Visit us today on campus or online and see for yourself.

About the Library

The Berntsen Library is named in honor of former University of Northwestern president and chancellor, William B. Berntsen, and provides access to more than 260,000 titles and 118 online collections including streaming video and audio.

Library Features

  • Research Help Desk - assistance from UNW librarians is available for personalized research help most of the hours the library is open.
  • 24/7 chat research help - available through library partnerships
  • Inter-library resources: Access to 2.2 million items through collaboration with other local university libraries (CLIC)
  • Reading Room with large windows and a variety of seating
  • Group study spaces
  • Silent study floor
  • Student Lab workstations
  • Listening and Viewing Room that houses the library's audiovisual collections and playback equipment

Haburn Hovda Archives

The Berntsen Library houses the Haburn Hovda Archives, which contain scrapbooks, sermons, and other writings of William Bell Riley, the first president and founder of University of Northwestern. The Archives also preserve Northwestern publications and materials pertaining to the history of the university.

Access to the Archives is available by appointment only. Please contact the Berntsen Library at 651-631-5241 to schedule an appointment with the Archives staff.

Library Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

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Circulation Desk: 651-631-5241

Research Desk: 651-286-7708

Toll free: 888-283-0812


From the north:
Follow I-35E South to Hwy. 36 West. Exit onto Snelling Ave North to the third stop light, Lydia Ave, and turn left.

From the south:
Follow I-35W North to Hwy 36 East. Exit onto Snelling Ave North to the third stop light, Lydia Ave, and turn left.

From the east:
Follow Hwy 36 West to Snelling Ave North. At the third stop light, Lydia Ave, turn left.

From the west/northwest:
Follow I-494/I-694 East to Snelling Ave and exit South. At the first stop light, Lydia Ave, turn right.

From the airport by car:
Follow I-494 west to I-35W north to Hwy 36 east. Exit on Snelling Ave north. Turn left at the third stoplight, Lydia Ave.


The nearest parking can be found along the along the perimeter drive behind the library buildings.


The entrance to Bernsten Library is on street level and easily accessible. There is elevator access to all floors as well as the underground tunnels connecting campus buildings.

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