Reading Room Use

Special Collections Reading Rooms Rules

Patrons will be asked to read and sign the following rules governing the Reading Rooms:

  1. The first time any researcher visits the Special Collections s/he must complete the Researcher Registration Form (PDF format; 154 KB) and show appropriate identification. On each subsequent visit the researcher will be asked to read through the rules.
  2. Visitors must sign the registration book each time they visit the Reading Room.
  3. ALL personal belongings are to be stored in lockers.
  4. Allowed in Reading Room:
    1. Pencils
    2. Paper, must be stamped by a staff member
    3. Laptop and notebooks, will be inspected
    4. Digital camera (no flash)
  5. Not allowed in Reading Room:
    1. Pens, markers or ink of any kind
    2. Food, drink, candy (including chewing gum) and tobacco products
  6. Researchers are to remain reasonably quiet to avoid distracting others.
  7. Cell phone ringers must be set to silent. Calls may not be taken in the reading room.
  8. Access to stacks areas of Special Collections is not allowed.
  9. Notify a staff member when your visit ends. Present laptops and notebooks for inspection. Special Collections staff reserve the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before a researcher leaves.
  10. Failure to follow these rules may lead to your removal and/or banning from the Special Collections reading rooms.

Use of Special Collections Materials

Patrons will be asked to read and sign the following rules governing the use of Special Collections Materials:

  1. Archival materials may only be consulted in the Reading Room.
  2. Only one box may be on the study table at a time. Only one folder may be removed from a box at a time. Use red Out Cards to mark your place when removing folders from boxes.
  3. Keep material in the order in which you receive it even if you cannot discern a meaningful order. Use red Out Cards to mark your place when removing items from folders.
  4. Materials must remain in clear view of Special Collections staff at all times.
  5. Cotton gloves must be worn when handling photographic materials. Gloves will be provided. Please avoid touching the surface of photographic materials, even while wearing gloves.
  6. Do not mark, fold or use post-it notes on materials. Respect the fragile nature of archival materials and handle with care. Archival materials must remain flat on the table.
  7. Do not exert pressure on material used, such as by taking notes on top of or resting an arm on archival material.
  8. Proper credit must be given in citations.
    1. Archival citations: see "preferred citation" for each collection (ed. [Identification of item], Collection Name, Call ##, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections).
    2. Special Collections citations: Proper credit must be given for original (non-published) material (ed. [Identification of item], University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections). Published books need not cite UTSA Library. If unsure, consult staff.
  9. Photocopy Requests:
    1. Complete a reproduction request form. Physical condition or other restrictions may prevent staff from making reproductions of some materials.
    2. Consult staff for additional information about photocopying and scanning.
    3. Use colored flags to mark material. Do not separate material to be reproduced.
    4. Reproduction requests may take several business days, depending on the quantity ordered and the volume of orders.
  10. If you find materials that are torn, marked, out of order, or in any way seem damaged, please notify a staff member immediately.

UTSA Libraries Special Collections may permit researchers to use their personal digital cameras in the reading room under the following conditions:

  • Patrons may photograph materials from a sitting position or while standing on the reading room floor.  Patrons will not be allowed to stand on platforms or furniture while photographing materials. 
  • Patrons may not use tripods or flashes.  Materials may be photographed while resting on tables only.  No collection materials are to be placed on the floor and patrons are not to disturb other researchers. 
  • Patrons will not be allowed to use personal scanners in the reading room.
  • The patron is responsible for noting all information required to properly cite the material being photographed.  If the patron does not sufficiently document the material or loses the documentation, Special Collections staff will not be able to search for the lost item. 
  • Special Collections welcomes you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law. Please cite us as indicated in the instructions above.
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