Reading Room Policies and Procedures

Reading Room Policies and Procedures

Researchers are required to complete our registration form once per academic calendar year and provide valid photo identification (school identification card, driver’s license, passport, etc.). Researchers are requested to sign the guest register once daily during each research visit.  

All purses, coats, backpacks, and briefcases (including laptop and tablet cases) must be placed in lockers or kept behind our reference desk. Cell phones and other personal communication devices must be turned off or silenced. Spiral-bound notebooks and three-ring binders are also prohibited.

All food, drink, vaping and tobacco products are prohibited in the Special Collections Research Center.

Only pencils, loose note paper, laptop computers (without cases) and other electronic note-taking devices are allowed. Paper and pencils will be provided. Laptops and electronic devices may be used as long as they do not disturb other researchers or reading room staff. No pens or permanent markers of any sort are permitted.

Photography is allowed, however, researchers should consult with reference staff regarding the appropriate protocol.

Personal scanners are not allowed.  

Notify our reference staff before leaving the reading room for any extended period of time or when you are finished using the materials.  We will place materials on hold for five days at the researcher's request. Thereafter, a new call slip will be required to request the same materials.

Special Collections Research Center staff reserve the right to inspect all research materials and personal items before researchers leave the reading room.

Requesting Materials

Researchers must complete a call slip, unless they request materials in advance of their visit.  Researchers may submit multiple call slips at once, but only one item, folder, box, or comic book may be used at a time.  A staff member will retrieve the material. 

Researchers will use the materials at designated seating areas.

Handling Materials

The majority of our holdings are rare, fragile, unique, and irreplaceable.  As such, researchers must accept the responsibility for carefully handling all items requested, regardless of their condition. Please make sure your hands are clean and free of moisturizers and lotions. Manuscripts, books, and photographs may not be leaned on, folded, traced over or handled in any way that may damage them.  All archival and manuscript items must be placed flat on the table. Researchers will not place them in their laps or hold them up. All rare books must be used on a foam book cradle.  Book cradles will be provided, and staff will instruct researchers on how to use them.   For certain materials, it may be necessary to wear cotton gloves supplied by Special Collections staff.

Materials must be kept in the order in which they are found in each folder and in each box. If materials appear to be out of order, please alert reference staff immediately.

Researchers may pull one folder from a box at a time.

Duplication and Copyright

The Special Collections Research Center will consider requests for reproduction of materials when such duplication can be done without injury to the material and when duplication does not violate donor agreements or copyright laws. Duplication requests can be submitted by completing the Duplication of Materials form. The researcher is solely responsible for the use made of any material secured from the university and liable for any infringement of copyright.  Providing reproductions of our materials does not constitute the permission to publish or reproduce in print or electronic form.

Citation and Publication

Before any material from collections is published or placed on the World Wide Web, researchers must complete a Permission to Publish form.

Researchers planning to quote, paraphrase, or cite materials must use proper citation. Citation format examples are available at the reference desk.