Reading Room Rules and Guidelines

The collections are open to all users during regular hours of service. All readers must register and provide their current contact information, photo ID, and name. Positive photo identification is required.

Only loose-leaf paper and pencils are allowed at the study tables. The use of ink pens is not permitted. Paper and pencils are available upon request.

Readers must stow all personal belongings (including coats, backpacks, umbrellas, large purses, computer cases, notebooks, and briefcases) in the shelving or lockers provided.

Personal computers may be used if their operation is quiet. Use of other items such as typewriters, tape recorders, scanners, and cameras must be approved by staff. Non-flash photography must be approved and supervised by staff.

Readers must silence cell phones and leave the reading room to place or receive calls.

No food or drinks are allowed in the reading room.

Readers must fill out a call slip for each title needed. Information on the call slip includes the book’s author, title, call number, and the name of the collection to which it belongs. Registered readers must provide their name and ID number on each call slip.

Rare books, manuscripts, and other materials from the division’s book collections must not be removed from the reading room (room 401). Most materials do not circulate. Some books from the Closed and Comic Art Collections may be checked out subject to condition and the discretion of Special Collections staff.

All materials in the department must be handled with great care:

  • No marks may be added or erased.
  • No tracings or rubbings may be made without specific written permission.
  • Books should remain on the table while being consulted. Book stands, pillows, and weighted snakes are available to aid use of fragile materials.
  • No books, papers, or objects may be laid on top of the materials, nor should the reader lean on them.
  • Special Collections staff may request readers to wear cotton gloves.

Readers must return materials to the desk before exiting the reading room for any reason.