We are often asked as to why Special Collections has rules which are more stringent than the general library rules. We realize that some of the limitations we place upon the materials in our collections may be an inconvenience, but because of the often fragile or unique nature of individual items, extra care must be applied to protect them for future users. Please know that our practices are similar to those employed by other like repositories across the nation, and that these actions are intended to aid you in your research.
Q: How do I retrieve materials listed in OASIS as being in Special Collections?
A: When you come in, bring with you the call numbers(s) of the item(s) you seek and a member of the Special Collections staff will be happy to assist you. Please note that "Vault", "Valley McDonald", "Locked Room", "Pauling Personal Library" and any dates are important parts of the call number.
Q: Can I check items out?
A: No, you can't check out books or take them out of the Special Collections Reading Room. The materials in Special Collections are non-circulating, as they are all, either individually or in the aggregate, rare, unique, or hard-to-replace. All materials must be used in our reading room, under the supervision of the friendly Special Collections staff.
Q: When are you open?
A: Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, excluding holidays observed by the University. Maintaining a secure area while providing access to the books, manuscripts, historic photographs, and archives stretches our small staff to the limit. Additional hours are just not possible at current funding levels.
Q: Can I make my own photocopies?
A: No, due to the fragile condition of some material, all photocopying is performed by the Special Collections staff. At this time we are able to accept either cash or credit cards for payment. Please know that not all materials can be photocopied. The photocopier is a great help to researchers but can be harmful in the extreme for books. Careless use during the copying process may break the spines of books, requiring expensive repair. Some materials are so brittle that the mere act of handling them is sufficiently hazardous as to rule out photocopying. Color and B&W copying prices are listed on our Fee Schedule.
Q: Can you provide photocopies of particular items?
A: Yes, within certain limitations due to copyright laws, we can make copies of items and make them available to you.
Q: May I take notes with a pen?
A: Because an accidental slip of the pen may cause irreparable damage to our research materials, we require that pencils or a laptop computer be the only tools allowed for note-taking.
Q: Can you scan a photograph, document, or text and send it to me via the Internet?
A: Yes. Contact us with any details of your request (e.g. resolution, format, etc.) and we will process your order after payment. Be sure to consult the Fee Schedule.
Q: No one else is using the Reading Room. Can I use it to study?
A: No, we are sorry, but the Reading Room is reserved exclusively for researchers and patrons using the materials housed in Special Collections.