Special Collections and Archives Reading Room Guidelines

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.

Hours, Location, and Parking:

We are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are closed for California state holidays as well as some academic breaks. You can confirm our hours for the quarter here.

We are located in room 409 on the fourth floor of Kennedy Library (Bldg. 35). Here’s a map of the library, and here’s a map of campus. You can read more about parking at Cal Poly here.

WiFi and Camera Policy

Guest WiFi is provided for visitors to campus. Learn how to connect here. Use of digital cameras is permitted on a case-by-case basis.

When you arrive

Upon arrival at Special Collections and Archives, all researchers must complete and sign the Researcher registration form and furnish personal photographic identification, such as a valid driver’s license or university identification. By signing the Researcher Registration form, researchers agree to abide by the rules of use for the collections.

Aside from pencils, cell phones, 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 and loose-leaf paper are provided for use in the reading room.

Mobile 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.

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 1 business day advance 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.

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.