Handling Rare and Archives Collection Materials

Studying Rare and Archives Collection Materials at the Ingalls Library and Archives

Materials from the Rare Book Collection or the Museum Archives are studied in the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) Reading Room, under the supervision of library and archives staff. 

Readers wishing to study materials from the Archives or Rare Book Collection are encouraged to make an appointment in advance. It is usually possible to accommodate readers without appointments, but depending on staff availability, paging times, and other appointments, same-day requests are not guaranteed. Furthermore, not all Archives Collections are open to the public. By calling ahead, patrons can make certain the desired materials are available. 


1. Items allowed in the ASC Reading Room:

  • Pencil and paper for note taking.
  • Personal laptop and tablet computer for note taking.
  • Purses, but they must be kept on the floor.
  • Other reference books, if necessary for studying the material(s).

2. Items NOT allowed in the ASC Reading Room:

  • Pens, markers, highlighters, and any writing implement other than a pencil.
  • Self-adhesive notes, flags, and page markers.
  • Bags, briefcases, and laptop bags.
  • Food and beverages, including mints, gum, and cough drops.
  • Coats, hats, scarves, and other loose articles of clothing.

For a complete overview of applicable policies and procedures, please consult the library’s

Guidelines on Studying Rare and Archives Collection Materials.