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Archives & Special Collections

Visiting and Research Policies

  1. The Special Collections Department is open by appointment only.  Visitors and researchers may request an appointment between 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:30, Monday through Friday, excluding university holidays. All requests should include the proposed date of visit and a list of specific materials the researcher wishes to access. As some materials are held in off-site storage, requests should be made at least seven to ten business days in advance.

  2. Please note, the Special Collections Department is closed to researchers the week prior to the beginning of the fall semester and for the first two weeks of the fall semester. Staffing of the department is limited, and researchers are asked to request appointments well in advance of an anticipated visit to ensure the availability of an appointment time.   

  3. Researchers who will require more than one appointment are asked to submit a research plan that describes the anticipated amount of time their research will take.  Researcher who plan on spending more than 16 hours (2+ business days) reviewing materials will have their visits scheduled during law school intersessions or over the summer to ensure adequate staffing.

Reading Room Policies

  1. Special Collections materials do not circulate and may only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

  2. Some Special Collections materials may be brittle or fragile. The department reserves the right to limit access to materials due to item condition.

  3. No food or drink is permitted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

  4. Only a laptop computer, tablet, phone, digital camera, or pencil and paper are permitted on the Reading Room table.

  5. Personal items such as bags, backpacks, coats, umbrellas, books, and folders must be stowed while viewing Special Collections 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.

  6. Research materials from outside of the Special Collections department, including books from the Library’s circulating collection, may not be used in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Usage Guidelines

  1. Researchers may view up to five rare books at a time.

  2. Researchers may view a single archival box at a time. The rest of the boxes must remain closed and stay on the provided cart.

  3. Only one folder may be out of the box at any given time. Department-provided flags should be used to mark the removed folder’s location within the box.

  4. Researchers must maintain the order of folders within a box and of items within the folders. If a mistake in arrangement is suspected, please notify staff. Do not attempt to rearrange the material yourself.

  5. Researchers must exercise all possible care to prevent damage to Special Collections materials. Materials should not be written on, leaned on, altered, folded, traced, or handled in any way likely to inflict damage.

  6. Staff should be notified of any materials needing attention.

  7. The Special Collections Reading Room does not have a scanner.  Staff members are unable to scan materials for researchers visiting the Reading Room.  Researchers who anticipate wanting materials scanned should bring appropriate camera or smart phone equipment with them for this purpose.  Researchers may submit small digitization requests after their visit as noted below.

  8. Digital photography without flash is permitted for educational, research, and personal use only.

  9. When citing the materials, please include any relevant information such as collection title, box and folder number, or book title, author, and date. The repository title may be listed as Tarlton Law Library, The University of Texas at Austin.

  10. The department is unable to conduct personal research. If you need research assistance, The Briscoe Center for American History, Harry Ransom Center, and Texas State Library and Archives Commission maintain active lists of researchers for hire.

Reproduction Requests

  1. The department will fulfill small digitization requests for a fee. Please contact for a quote. The department reserves the right to decline reproduction requests due to limited staffing or poor condition of the materials.

  2. Reproductions will not be made for material where a digital facsimile is available online.

  3. Reproduction requests will be fulfilled in the order in which the payment has been received. Please allow up to six weeks for delivery.

  4. Most reproductions will be delivered as digital download in PDF format, unless agreed upon otherwise. Reproductions of photographs will be delivered as digital download in TIFF format, unless agreed upon otherwise.

  5. All materials are made available for the purpose of educational, research, and personal use only and may be protected under the United States copyright law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code). Tarlton Law Library is unable to grant commercial use or permissions. Researchers are responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials and for obtaining the necessary permissions from the rights holders for purposes beyond fair use.


The Special Collections Department is located on the fourth floor of the Tarlton Law Library in room 4.209. For driving directions and parking at the Law Library, please see Location and Parking.