Mary and Jeff Bell Library

Special Collections & Archives Policies

Because of their fragile, rare or unique nature, the books, manuscripts and archives, photographs, maps, tape recordings, and other items in Special Collections & Archives cannot be borrowed or checked out. Researchers must examine them in the secure, well-furnished reading room under staff supervision. For their preservation, all items are maintained under strict professional care. Photocopying facilities are available.

Rules for Use of Materials
It is the responsibility of researchers to assist in the preservation of materials of Special Collections & Archives. In keeping with this responsibility, researchers are required to observe the following rules which are designed to insure the order and preservation of the materials they are using.
  1. The Rules for Use of Materials form must be signed upon entering the reading room.
  2. Briefcases, backpacks, purses, and other personal belongings must be deposited in the designated area near the registration desk.
  3. Any of the above listed items are subject to search before their removal from the reading room.
  4. No materials in Special Collections may be removed from the reading room. The stacks are closed. Everything is retrieved by staff.
  5. No ink may be used. Pencils are available at the registration desk.
  6. No marks may be made on materials, and no books or other objects may rest on items used. Do not crease the pages or damage the spine of any print item. All pages should be turned from their edges to avoid damage or creasing. Loose sheets and/or book pages must be handled by their edges to minimize contact with hands. Any photographs must be reviewed using white gloves.
  7. The order and arrangement of unbound materials must be preserved; and disarrangement or missing documents should be reported to the attendant in charge.
  8. Smoking, eating and drinking are strictly prohibited in the reading room.
  9. All photocopying is done by staff members. Staff members will photocopy material when this can be done without injury to the item. The number of items photocopied is subject to staffing considerations and the type of the documents. The cost of the first 250 copies is ten cents per page. Duplicating historical photographs can be arranged. Copies are for individual use and may not be duplicated or deposited elsewhere without the written permission of Special Collections & Archives.
  10. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel and literary property rights which may be involved in her/his use of materials.

We invite questions and/or comments and look forward to hearing from you. Contact Ann Hodges at, (361)825-2301.

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