Special Collections Use Policy

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Use of SCRC, Belfer Audio Archive and Preservation Laboratory and University Archives material is governed by the following regulations:

  1. Researchers must register at the Reading Room reference desk. One form of photo identification is required upon initial registration.
  2. Special Collections materials do not circulate and must be used in the Reading Room. All materials are retrieved for the researcher by SCRC staff. Call slips for books and manuscripts are provided at the reference desk and are to be completed by the researcher.
  3. All personal property, including coats, bags, notebooks, books, and folders, must be left in the lockers/coatroom.
  4. Food and drink are not permitted.
  5. Only pencils and paper supplied by SCRC staff may be used in the Reading Room. Pens/markers/highlighters/post-it notes/notebooks/folders are not allowed and must be kept in the lockers/coatroom.
  6. The Reading Room is a designated quiet area so please keep your voices to a minimum. Cell phone use is not permitted. Please take calls out in the public lobby by the elevators.
  7. Laptop computers, digital cameras and handheld mobile devices (with flash and sound mechanisms turned off) are permitted as long as their use does not disturb researchers or damage materials. Laptop, digital camera and handheld mobile devices cases must be stored in the lockers/coatroom. All digital camera use must be approved by SCRC staff prior to taking any images and is subject to any restrictions placed on the collection material. Flatbed/ handheld scanners, tripods and other equipment are not permitted.
  8. Researchers must sit at the research tables so that they are facing the Reading Room reference desk.
  9. All materials must be handled with the utmost care. Books, papers or elbows may not be placed on open books or manuscripts. Book cradles and weights are available at the reference desk. Gloves must be used when handling any photographic material. No tracings or rubbings are permitted.
  10. One box or book per table is permitted at a time. SCRC reserves the right to limit the number of books/manuscripts/audio material issued to a researcher at one time. Some restricted materials may be used only under direct supervision.
  11. Researchers must not disturb the order of documents within folders or boxes. Please use one folder at a time – place-holders are provided to keep track of your place in the box. Do not remove materials for copying/scanning.
  12. Copying is available upon application and is performed by SCRC staff. Slips to indicate materials to be copied are available at the reference desk. Permission to have materials copied must be secured in writing through the reference desk and depends on the condition, content and amount of materials, as well as possible restrictions on use and US Copyright laws. Complete information on copying and fees is available at the reference desk.
  13. Researchers intending to use SCRC materials in a publication (print or digital), performance or broadcast, must complete, sign and submit a Request to Publish form, available at the reference desk, to SCRC prior to publication. Researchers are responsible for acquiring permission from rights holders before quoting or publishing anything from our collections.
  14. Materials may not be left unattended in the Reading Room without permission. Researchers are responsible for materials until those items are returned to the desk in person and discharged. Materials that will be required again within one week can be placed on reserve.
  15. Materials must be requested for retrieval ½ hour prior to closing. Materials must be discharged or placed on reserve 15 minutes prior to closing. Before leaving the Reading Room, researchers must present all materials for inspection and sign out with the reference desk staff.

Guidelines for Handling Special Collections Materials

  • Researchers are permitted one box or book at their table at a time. Carts are not permitted to be kept next to the tables.
  • Boxes must remain squarely on the table. Remove one folder from the box at a time and keep the folders in order in the box. Please use a place holder to mark the location of the removed folder.
  • Manuscript folders and items must remain on the table. Please keep documents neat and in order in the folder. Do not tap manuscript materials on the table; please neaten them with the tips of your fingers instead.
  • Do not remove items from folders. Acid-free paper slips are provided for researchers to flag items they wish to be duplicated, and correction forms are available at the desk if you wish to suggest changes to the arrangement or description of our materials.
  • Do not lean on or rest anything on top of collection materials. Special corner weights to be used with rolled manuscript material and snake weights to be used with rare books are available at the Reading Room desk.
  • Do not write, take notes, or place notepaper directly on collection materials and folders. Rubbings and tracings are not permitted.
  • Researchers must wear gloves when handling photographs or negatives. Gloves are available at the Reading Room desk.
  • No marks may be added or erased from collection materials.
  • Please do not remove staples, paperclips, or other fasteners from collection materials. Please ask Reading Room desk staff for assistance with removal of these items.
  • Researchers should return their materials to the Reading Room desk when leaving for the day, going to lunch, or whenever they are leaving the Reading Room for more than a few minutes.
  • All books must be used with a support cradle. Books must remain in the support cradle, which must remain squarely on the table.
  • Please do not use pencils or other objects as bookmarkers. Acid-free paper slips for marking your place are available at the desk.
  • Please handle collection materials with care at all times.