Using Special Collections & Archives Materials

  • Because Special Collections materials are rare, fragile, unique, or of special collecting interest, they may be consulted only in the Special Collections Reading Room under departmental supervision. Users must register and login to the Special Collections Request System to request materials or copies.
  • Readers who can furnish a photographic form of identification (e.g., student I.D., driver's license) and who agree to abide by these rules may use the collections; secondary school students must be accompanied by an adult.
  • No photography is allowed in the reading room. Limited photoduplication is possible depending on the fragility of a particular item and copyright law.
  • All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by SC&A staff, and follow the Duplication Policy and posted schedule for limits and duplication fees.
    • An overhead scanner is provided for patron use for creating research quality copies. Limits and fees apply. The scanner is equipped to email files directly to your email or you may use your personal flash drive.
    • High resolution reproduction options may be made by SC&A staff, as described in our duplication policy and price schedule.
  • Please silence your cell phone. Headphones are permitted, but please keep the volume low so that you do not disturb other researchers. Telephone calls may not be made or taken in the reading room, nor may mobile devices be used to take photographs. We reserve the right to ask users to stow electronic devices that are not being used appropriately.
  • Laptops and tablets are permitted for note taking. No other personal belongings, including computer cases, briefcases, backpacks, purses, coats, or notebooks are permitted in the Reading Room. Lockers are available to stow these items during your visit.
  • The use of ink is not permitted. Nor may the reader make any marks in or on any Special Collections & Archives materials. In taking notes, please do not rest notepaper directly on books or manuscripts; tracing is not permitted. The department supplies notepaper and pencils as needed.
  • All materials must be handled with care. Maintain loose papers in the order in which they are received. Please bring apparent filling irregularities to our attention, but do not attempt to rearrange manuscript collections personally. Some of our books have uncut pages; please bring these to our attention as you encounter them so that we may open them for you.
  • Any reader wishing to publish from Special Collections materials agrees to obtain permission from the UC San Diego Library, from holders of copyright, and from other interested parties as applicable. The reader also agrees to accept responsibility for complying with legislation enacted to protect copyright and the right to privacy. The department may deny access to materials when an individual's right to privacy would be violated by making the materials available for research.