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Special Collections and Archives FAQ

Can I go into the stacks?
Can I study here?
This book was published in the last 10 years, and isn't that old. Why can't I check it out?
Why do I have to register?
Why do I have to put my belongings in a locker?
Why do I need to wear gloves?
How do I make copies?
Can I use the BookEye scanner for materials in other parts of the library?
Why do you open late and close early?

Can I go into the stacks?

The stacks in Special Collections and Archives are closed to those who do not work in the library for security reasons. You're welcome to browse or search our collections online in the Finding Aid Database, Digital Collections, or Library Catalog

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Can I study here?

The public areas in Special Collections and Archives are reserved for students, faculty, and others using materials in our collections. This is primarily because our collection materials cannot be checked out, so those who want to use them are unable to sit anywhere else.

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This book was published in the last 10 years, and isn't that old. Why can't I check it out?

Sometimes books are stored in Special Collections and Archives because they were donated or purchased as part of a collection that cannot be separated and stored in different parts of the library. Sometimes we have another copy in the circulating collection, but if we don't you may be able to order a copy through inter-library loan. You're also welcome to sit in Special Collections and Archives to read the book.

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Why do I have to register?

Even though our materials can't be checked out, we keep track of who comes in and what they look at, just like Guest Services does downstairs. The information is confidential whether in Special Collections and Archives or at Guest Services.

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Why do I have to put my belongings in a locker?

We don't allow personal belongings, especially bags and jackets, in Special Collections and Archives primarily for security reasons. You are welcome to bring other things back in that you need during your visit, including your laptop, notebook, etc., though staff may ask to review it before you are seated.

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Do I need to wear gloves?

You only have to wear gloves if the person at the front desk tells you to, most often if you are using photographs. While gloves protect materials from oils on your hands, they also impair your sense of touch. Since it's important to be careful with our materials, we want you to be able to feel them in your hands.

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How do I make copies?

You can make your own copies in Special Collections and Archives on our BookEye scanner. You'll need to bring any folder you want copies from to the front desk so we can determine nothing will be damaged during copying, and then we'll show you how to use the scanner. There's additional information about making copies on our Duplications page.

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Can I use the BookEye scanner for materials in other parts of the library?

The BookEye is for the use of students, faculty, and others using Special Collections and Archives materials. Our materials can't be checked out, which means they can't be taken to another part of the library for copying. It would be unfair to let people use the BookEye who do have that option.

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Why do you open late and close early?

We keep different hours in Special Collections and Archives because being open to the public requires a higher level of staffing than it does in the rest of the library. 

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If you have any other questions, please let us know!