Lehigh University Libraries Special Collections Policies and Procedures: General Rules Governing Use of Material

The books, manuscripts, and other materials housed in Special Collections are available for research use, subject to the following rules:

  1. Material from these collections does not circulate. It must be consulted in the Reading Room, Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except official University holidays. These hours are subject to occasional change.
  2. No food or drink is allowed in the reading room.
  3. Briefcases, coats, purses, and all items not required for research must be secured in lockers and or hung on the coat rack before being seated in the Reading Room. The staff member on duty is the sole judge of what must be stored.
  4. Readers must complete a registration form and show a photo I.D. on their first visit.
  5. Readers must sign the register daily.
  6. Books must be requested in advance via the online request form. Off-campus users and readers who wish to use manuscript material must consult a librarian.
  7. Readers are permitted to use one book at a time. Exceptions may be made by the librarian on duty at the reference desk if appropriate. (Examples: readers using multi-volume sets or those working on textual comparisons).
  8. All inquiries concerning reprographic services must be referred to a librarian. Photocopying and scanning are done only by the staff. Use of a personal digital camera is permitted at the discretion of the librarian.
  9. Special Collections material must be handled with great care. USE PENCIL ONLY. Do not make any marks on the materials, and do not open uncut pages. No books, papers, or other objects (except the special weights available to hold books open) may be laid on the materials.
  10. When using manuscripts material, do not disturb the arrangement of papers or folders.
  11. When you have finished using material, please return it to the desk and wait until the material has been checked in. Please inform the person at the desk whether you will be using it again during the next week. Material may be held in the reading room for repeated use. After two weeks without access, it will be returned to the shelf.
  12. Special Collections staff reserve the right to search a reader's personal belongings before his or her departure from the reading room.
  13. Laptop computers are permitted for research in the Reading Room after they have been removed from carrying cases. Cell phones are allowed to take reference photos but phone calls must take place out of the Reading Room.
  14. It is our responsibility to provide and maintain a safe, secure, clean, comfortable and healthy research environment. Therefore: No shoes, no shirt: No service.