Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Archival Usage Policies & Procedures

Reading Room Policies - PLEASE BRING YOUR ID!

Welcome to the ASU Dean B. Ellis Library Archives & Special Collections. We administer the library’s rare books, manuscripts, and other research collections. These research materials are rare, fragile, irreplaceable, or otherwise in need of protection. Please handle them with care and respect. We reserve the right to refuse access to anyone we feel has violated any of the procedures outlined below.

  1. All patrons must have a current Researcher Registration form on file with Archives and Special Collections. Registration form must be renewed each year. A current photo ID (ASU ID, School ID, Driver’s License, or state-issued ID) must be presented with the registration form.
  2. All patrons must sign in at the reference desk upon entering the reading room. You will be asked to provide a photo ID on each visit. Your ID will be returned once all archival material has been returned.
  3. Archives and Special Collections materials cannot be checked out and the stacks are closed to the public. To request material for use in the reading room, complete a call slip for EACH title, volume, or manuscript collection and present the slip(s) at the Service Desk.
  4. Patron will make every effort possible to protect and preserve the documents being used. Materials must be used in accordance with the materials use policies printed on the Materials Request Form.
  5. The Archives reading room is reserved exclusively for individuals using our collections for scholarly research.
  6. In order to respect other researchers, please whisper when any talking is needed.
  7. Only loose-leaf paper (no notebooks) and pencils (no pens) or laptop computers are permitted in the reading room. Lockers are provided for patrons to secure all other belongings (including cell phones, jackets, and bags) while in the reading room. Pencils and scratch paper are available at the service desk. The staff reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before a patron leaves.
  8. No food, beverages, candy, gum or similar consumables are allowed in the reading room.
  9. Chairs must face the Service Desk at all times. Do not move furniture without permission.
  10. Make sure your hands are clean. Gloves will be issued when handling photographs or other sensitive material.
  11. The Archives may require researchers to use access copies of records in place of originals whose physical condition or format makes them unusable.
  12. Up to five boxes or books may be requested at the same time. You will only be allowed to use one box or book at a time.
  13. Restricted records are closed for research purposes. The Archives will only open restricted records in accordance with the terms specified in transmittal documents or statements of gift. Other records may be restricted due to legal or institutional obligations.
  14. Unprocessed archival and manuscript collections are not available for research.
  15. Archives & Special Collections is open by appointment only.  Please email archive-l@astate.edu to set up an appointment and with questions about your research project.
  16. When patrons are finished with their research, they should bring the materials to the Archives reference desk and inform the staff whether or not they intend to return.
  17. In general Archives and Special Collections staff are not able to conduct research on behalf of researchers.
  18. Patrons should understand copyright and citation forms for archival material if the material is used or referenced in papers, reports, or other non-personal material. Patron understands that Archive employees may not give legal advice.
  19. Special permission from Archives staff is required for use of cameras, tape recorders, and all copying devices. Most duplication requests will be filled within seven business days.