Conditions of Use

Owing to the individual or collective value or the age and fragility of items in the collections, it is necessary to maintain materials under special conditions. Material does not circulate but is available in Special Collections to all users of the library. Advance notice is required for use of some material in Special Collections so that it can be retrieved from storage. Researchers are encouraged to call in advance concerning the material they wish to see. Photocopying or other forms of reproduction of collection material may be possible; please consult the Special Collections staff.

We have special conditions for use and handling requirements which all researchers must follow. The rules below are designed to protect collections while providing the best possible service to users.

  • All researchers must fill out and sign an application form and must present acceptable photo identification (driver's license, faculty/student ID, passport, etc.) before viewing material. We record your name, contact information, and research interest.
  • Special Collections’ reading area is reserved for the use of Special Collections’ material only.
  • Place all personal property, including briefcases, backpacks, purses, notebooks with pockets, cell phones, coats and umbrellas in the storage cabinet drawers provided at the entrance. Laptop computers, notepaper and pencils may be used in the reading area. No scanners are allowed.
  • All items brought into the Special Collections reading area must be submitted for inspection at the Reference Desk upon departure.
  • No ink or highlighters may be used in the reading area. Pencils and paper are provided.
  • Digital cameras may be used with prior permission at designated tables in the reading area. Users must read and sign the "Policy for the use of personal cameras in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room."
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in Special Collections. No food or beverages may be left in storage drawers.
  • Request all items from Special Collections staff located at the Reference Desk. Request items no later than 15 minutes before the unit closes.
  • Handle and read materials only at the reading area tables. Limit handling of items to the minimum necessary for your research and exercise all possible care to prevent damage to materials. Gloves provided by Special Collections must be worn when handling photographic or other fragile material.
  • Do not mark, take notes on or trace on top of special collections material. Keep all material flat on the table; do not place items in your lap or hold them up.
  • Manuscript and other looseleaf material require special care. Please maintain their existing order and arrangement. Suspected irregularities in arrangement should be brought to the attention of the Special Collections staff at the Reference Desk.
  • Return all material to the Special Collections staff at the Reference Desk before leaving for the day or for an extended period.
  • Photocopying is decided on an item-by-item basis and is done by staff as time permits. Permission to photocopy does not constitute permission to publish. There is no self-service photocopying of collection materials. Requests for photocopying or for any reproduction in other formats, including photographic and digital scanning should be made to the Special Collections staff.  Additional restrictions may apply to some materials, based upon copyright law and prior donor agreements.