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Special Collections Reading Room Policies

  1. Special Collections materials do not circulate and may only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room on the fourth floor.
  2. To ensure the availability of materials, we strongly encourage patrons to contact us prior to visiting. As some materials are held in off-site storage, requests to access materials should be made at least seven to ten business days in advance. Requests should include the intended dates of visit as well as the specific materials the researcher wishes to access. Researchers who do not notify the department at least seven to ten days business days in advance of their visit may be unable to access materials which are stored off-site due to our need to schedule retrieval of materials with the storage facility.
  3. No food or drink is permitted in the Special Collections Reading Room.
  4. Only a laptop computer or pencil and paper suitable for note-taking are permitted on the reading room table.
  5. Research materials from outside of the Special Collections department, including books in the Library’s circulating collection, may not be used in the Special Collections Reading Room.
  6. Personal items such as bags, coats, purses, briefcases, backpacks, folders, and portfolios must be stowed while using library materials.  As a security measure, the staff reserves the right to inspect all personal items that have been brought into the Special Collections Reading Room.
  7. The Department is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until noon and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. 

Usage Guidelines

  1. Many of the items in Archives and Special Collections are unique and may be fragile or brittle. Use of material is dependent upon condition, the assessment of which is at the discretion of the department.  Researchers must exercise all possible care to prevent damage to materials.  Materials should not be written on, leaned on, altered, folded, traced, or handled in any way likely to inflict damage.  Please notify staff of any materials needing preservation attention.
  2. Researchers may request up to five rare books at a time. Researchers may request up to ten boxes of archival and manuscript materials, but may only access one box of material at any given time.
  3. When using archival materials, maintain the exact order of folders within a box and items with a folder.  Remove only one folder at a time, using a flag provided by the department to mark the location within the box.  Do not remove materials from a folder.  If a mistake in arrangement is suspected, please notify the staff.  Do not attempt to rearrange the material yourself.
  4. The department is unable to conduct research. The Briscoe Center for American History, Harry Ransom Center, and Texas State Library and Archives Commission maintain a list of researchers for hire.

Reproduction Guidelines

  1. If you are unable to visit in person, the department will fulfill reasonable reproduction requests for specifically identified materials made by mail, phone or email. Please see our fee schedule for charges.  The department reserves the right to decline reproduction requests due to limited staffing. 
  2. Digital photography without a flash is permitted at the discretion of the department. Researchers must receive permission from the department to photograph materials.
  3. All photocopying or scanning will be conducted by departmental staff. 
  4. Photocopies or scans may be made at the discretion of the department.  Rare books will not be photocopied, but scans may be made at the discretion of the department. Requests to reproduce fragile material will be declined if reproduction would damage the materials. Reproductions will not be made for material where a digital facsimile is available online.
  5. Reproduction requests will be honored in the order in which they are received.  Please be prepared to wait four to six weeks for delivery.  The department reserves the right to decline reproduction requests due to limited staffing. 
  6. Reproductions will be provided as digital files unless other arrangements are made with staff at the time of the request.  Additional fees may apply based on the size, condition, and format of the materials requested.  If additional fees apply, a quote will be provided to the researcher prior to reproduction of materials. 
  7. All materials are made available for the sole purpose of research and study.  Permission to examine materials is not an authorization to duplicate or publish them.
  8. All permissions needed for publication are the researcher’s responsibility. All requests for permission to publish must be made in writing to the department.  Permission to publish is given on behalf of the department as the owner of the physical materials.  This is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder in instances where the copyright has not been transferred to the department.  It is the duty of the researcher to obtain permission from the copyright holder before publishing any reproduction. Please be advised that there are fees associated with publication permission.
  9. When citing materials from the department, please use the following preferred format for providing credit:

    For Archives: Description of item – use dates and other clearly identifying information, Title of Collection, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections Department, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law.
    For Rare Books: Special Collections Department, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law.

  10. The Special Collections Department would be pleased to receive complimentary copies of publications that have made use of its resources.