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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; 30 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), must sign user agreement
  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 under the supervision of staff. Archival material may not be removed from the Reading Room.
  2. Researchers may request up to 3 boxes of material at a time. 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 orange 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 orange Out Cards to mark your place when removing items from folders.
  4. Materials must remain in clear view of 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. Book cradles will be provided for the viewing of bound materials.
  9. Proper credit must be given in citations.
    1. Archival citations: [Identification of item], Collection Name, Call ##, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
    2. Rare Books citations: Proper credit must be given for original (non-published) material. Sample citation: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections. Published books need not cite UTSA Library. If unsure, consult staff.
  10. Photocopy Requests:
    1. Complete a photocopy request form. Not all materials can be photocopied, due to physical conditions or restrictions.
    2. Consult staff for additional information about photocopies.
    3. Use purple flags to mark material for photocopying. Do not separate material to be photocopied.
    4. Photocopies are not done one demand. Turnaround may take several business days, depending on the quantity ordered and the volume of orders.
  11. If you find materials that are torn, marked, out of order, or in any way seem damaged, please notify a staff member immediately.
  12. All materials must be returned to a staff member before leaving the Reading Room for more than 15 minutes.
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