Department Policies

General Use Policies

Special Collections & Archives balances two distinct goals:

  1. To make our collections as widely available and accessible to researchers as is possible, and;
  2. To safeguard the valuable and unique materials housed within the Special Collections Department, in order to preserve them for future generations.

Our researchers and visitors are requested to observe the following rules:

  • Registration is required of all researchers upon arrival in the Special Collections & Archives Research Room.
  • To ensure the protection of the materials, food and beverages should remain outside of the research room.
  • Please check with the desk attendant for coat, bag, and umbrella storage.
  • Use of pencil is required when taking notes.
  • All Special Collections & Archives materials are non-circulating and must be used exclusively in the Research Room.
  • Be careful and respectful of the materials you are handling. Turn pages gently, place notebooks and note paper on the table surface, not on the materials , and ask for assistance when in doubt. Please do not use Post-it notes, insert bookmarks or other papers, or mark materials in any way.
  • Only one box or folder may be consulted at a time.
  • Researchers are asked to handle papers carefully, maintaining their established order in the folders, and notifying a staff member if they are out of order. Please also notify staff of any damaged items.
  • Researchers are asked to handle rare books with care and use book supports when needed to prevent damage to the bindings.
  • Material may be reproduced in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Special Collections Department. Scanning, photocopying, or other reproduction of materials will be done by Special Collections staff. Scan Request forms are available at the Special Collections reference desk.
  • Researchers may request permission from the professional staff to use digital cameras to take images. Scanners are not permitted due to copyright issues and fragility of Special Collections materials.
  • Researchers must fill out and sign a permission form to quote from, take photos of, or use images from Special Collections & Archives collections.
  • The use of certain manuscripts or other materials may be restricted by statute, by office of origin, or by the donors. The researcher must assume full responsibility for fulfilling the terms connected with any restricted material. For the protection of its collections the Library also reserves the right to restrict the use of materials which are not processed or in the process of being arranged, materials of exceptional value, and fragile materials.