Frequently Asked Questions


I have a question, but do not know who in the Special Collections Research Center to contact.

Researchers can contact the SCRC public services staff. We are available by telephone, email, fax, or U.S. Mail. Please see "Ask a Question" on the Research Assistance page for contact details.

What are the hours of Special Collections?

Please see the hours calendar. There are two sets of hours:  one for the browsable stacks (circulating items, clippings files, CDs, DVDs, yearbooks) and one for the rare or archival items. If you are traveling to use the collections, please contact us in advance to be sure that we will be open.

Can I check out books, CDs, and movies from Special Collections?

Many browseable books, videos, and sound recordings may be checked out by patrons with valid App Cards or Community Borrower cards. Materials marked “For Library Use Only” do not circulate. Serials, microforms, newspaper clippings, and items in the rare books and manuscripts/archives collections do not circulate. Circulating materials are available for Interlibrary Loan. For information about who may borrow materials, please check the Borrow, Renew, Request page. Click here to learn how to obtain a Community Borrower's card.

Can I bring food or drink into the Special Collections Research Center?

No food, drink, or tobacco products are allowed in the SCRC in order to preserve the life of the collections and their environment. 

Is the Special Collections Research Center a quiet study area?

We ask researchers and visitors to silence their cell phones and devices to maintain a quiet study area. On occasion, tours and class groups visit the SCRC, but the staff will try to limit voice noise to the service desk area as much as possible.

Are there group study rooms in the Special Collections Research Center?

There are no group study rooms in the SCRC or on the 4th Floor, but rooms are available on other floors of Belk Library and Information Commons. For more information on how to book available group study rooms, see Group Study Rooms / Library Multimedia Rooms.

Is the Special Collections Research Center accessible for those with mobility impairment?

Yes. While the SCRC is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons, there are two public elevators to all floors, and ramp pathways into the building. The College Street parking deck offers handicapped parking spots. 

Can I schedule the Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room for my class or event?

The Rhinehart Room is reserved exclusively for library use. Instructional sessions using materials from the Special Collections Research Center may meet in or tour the room if it is appropriate for the educational experience. For more information, please contact Greta Browning at 828-262-7702 or

Can I reserve the glass display cases on the 4th floor for my exhibit?

Please see our Exhibit Policies for Guest Exhibits.



Can I make scans or photocopies in the Special Collections Research Center?

The SCRC has the following duplication stations available to the public:

  • KIC touch-screen scanner. Users can scan items from the browseable stacks, such as newspaper clippings, books, or serial publications, and save them as PDFs (default), JPGs, or other file formats. Users can email files to themselves, save them to a flash drive (must be inserted prior to scanning), or print to the public printer in the SCRC. There is no charge to make scans, but there are charges for printing, paid by App Card.  (NOTE: As of 1/2023, this scanner is out-of-order.)
  • Photocopier. Users can make paper photocopies of items from the browseable stacks for a charge of $ 0.10 per page. The charges can be paid by App Card and coin change. 
  • Microfilm readers. Users can make scans or paper copies from microfilm using the machines on-site. There is no charge for duplication.

All duplication of rare and archival/manuscript material will be performed by Special Collections staff only when it can be done without injury to the material and when it does not violate donor agreements or copyright laws. The researcher is solely responsible for the use made of any material secured from the University and liable for any infringement of copyright.

Do you give tours of the Special Collections Research Center?

We provide informational tours of the SCRC. These tours may include highlights of the Cratis Williams Reading Room, the Dougherty Reading Room, and Rhinehart Rare Book Room. Please contact Ross Cooper at 828-262-2552 or for more information. 

Can my students learn how to use the Special Collections Research Center for their assignments?

App State faculty and instructors can schedule class-period long or partial period sessions led by SCRC archivists and librarians related to the use of SCRC materials for specific assignments. Please give at least 2 weeks advance notice to avoid scheduling conflicts and to allow time to prepare. For more information, please contact Greta Browning at 828-262-7702 or

Can I get help finding sources for my paper or project?

While we encourage apointments with SCRC public services staff to discuss research strategies pertaining to a specific project, we also answer many questions from walk-ups at the SCRC public service desk, by telephone (828-262-4041), or by email ( This service is open to all researchers, with priority attention given to App State students and faculty. To schedule an appointment, please contact Ross Cooper at 828-262-2552 or or Greta Browning at 828-262-7702 or


How do I make a donation?

The Special Collections Research Center is delighted to receive new items which complement our collection holdings. The Stock Car Racing Collection collects memoribilia and personal papers related to all forms of car racing. The University Archives and Records is actively seeking materials, such as scrapbooks and student organization documents, which illustrate student life at Appalachian State University. The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection emphasizes the Appalachian Region with strengths in the social sciences, regional history, folklore, music, religion, genealogy, fiction, and African and Native Appalachia. Monetary donations are also welcome and are used for purchasing new items. Donors may be able to claim a charitable donation tax deduction for gifts to the collection. If you would like to discuss a donation, please see our Donate page.

Can I use a digital camera or scanner when researching rare books and manuscripts or archives?

Researchers may use hand-held cameras to photograph materials as long as they a) do not use flash, b) do not disturb other researchers, c) agree to handle materials as outlined in the Researcher Registration agreement, and d) understand that these images are allowed for private research only. The researcher is solely responsible for the use made of any material secured from the University and liable for any infringement of copyright. Scanners are not allowed. For  more information, please see our Duplication Policies

Are any of the collections available online?

Some portions of archival collections are available online through the Digital Collections portal.

What is the difference between the University Archives and the University Records Center?

The University Archives is the permanent repository for university records identified as having lasting historical or administrative significance. The University Records Center (URC) provides temporary storage for university records that will either be designated for the University Archives or for destruction. The URC provides the necessary services and oversight to monitor the State-mandated, university-wide records-management program and is administered by the University Archives. For information about University Records Center transfers and holdings, please contact Anna Smith at or (828) 262-3137.