Reading room guidelines (Special Collections and Archives)

The Special Collections and Archives reading room provides a place where  faculty, staff, students, and the public can access the department’s holdings, within conditions imposed by donor agreements and institutional policy.

Upon their arrival, all researchers must register by reading and signing the Researcher registration form before using any materials.

Aside from loose-leaf notes, pencils, and laptop computers, all personal belongings must be stored separately in a space provided for such items. The use of pens, highlighters, or indelible pencil is prohibited. Pencils are provided for use in the reading room.

Cellular phones must be placed in the silent position in the reading room. Laptop computers must be cleared by department staff before use in the reading room. Use of digital cameras is permitted on a case-by-case basis.

Special Collections and Archives’ stack and collections storage areas are closed to the public. Only staff members may page collections for researcher use. Materials cannot be taken out of the Special Collections and Archives reading room.

Researchers are advised that some collections are stored off-site, requiring 24-hour notice before the materials can be made available.

Food, drink, water, and tobacco products are not permitted in the reading room.

Exercise care when using material:

  • Turn pages carefully
  • No weight should rest on material
  • Do not mark, deface, alter, fold anew, or trace on material
  • Do not place material in the lap or prop against the edge of the table

Gloves may be required at staff’s discretion. If you receive a book with uncut pages, please bring it to the attention of staff.

Keep material in original order. If material seems to be out of order, note discrepancy to staff rather than editing independently.

All material must be returned to staff before leaving the Reading Room for an extended period.