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Reading Room Guidelines

All patrons in the Special Collections reading room must observe the following rules. Failure or refusal to follow these guidelines will result in termination of access to the collections.

  • Special Collections materials may only be used in the Special Collections reading room. No materials may be taken from the reading room.
  • Please present proper identification (TU ID, driver’s license or passport). It will be held while materials are in use.
  • All personal belongings and outerwear (including cell phones, computer bags/sleeves and handbags) must be stored in the secure locker area located just outside the reading room. Before you stow your belongings, please set your phone on “silent” for the benefit of other researchers and staff in the area.
  • We do not allow food or beverages in the reading room.
  • Please be considerate of others who may also be doing research in the reading room by speaking softly and only when necessary.
  • Laptops, notebooks or notepaper may be used in the reading room. These items will be inspected upon your departure. We do not allow pens of any kind, but will be happy to provide you with a pencil for note taking.
  • We ask that your hands be free of lotions, food and food oils before using any of our materials. We reserve the right to require the use of nitrile or cotton gloves should we feel it necessary.
  • Books and other materials must remain on the table surface and should not be placed on your leg or lap. Do not write or trace on top of any item or folder.
  • Document boxes or other items should not be placed so as to obstruct the view of the reading room attendant.
  • Photographs should not be removed from their enclosures without the permission of a librarian.
  • You may be asked to use a book cradle while reading. Book cradles protect the spines of fragile books.
  • Please do not press down on or crease the gutter of the book in an effort to keep it open; doing so can break the spine of an old or brittle book. We will provide you with weighted book strings that will gently hold the pages open for you.
  • Please turn book pages from the top corners. Do not turn pages by licking fingers or by pushing or pinching pages. Extremely brittle pages should be turned with a microspatula.
  • Please preserve the order of material in folders. Do not take out items or set them aside.
  • Do not attempt to straighten archival material by bundling and pounding them as you would a stack of photocopies. After returning them to their folder, take care they are not creased or folded when closing the folder.
  • You may take photos of our materials for research purposes with the following restrictions: 1) only handheld cameras are allowed; 2) no flash is allowed at any time; and 3) cameras with detachable lenses are not allowed, nor are tripods or other methods of image stabilization.
  • We will stop pulling materials 30 minutes before closing.
  • You will be asked to return all materials 30 minutes before closing.