Policies & Procedures

Registering and Requesting Material in Special Collections

  • Material from Special Collections does not circulate and must be consulted in the Reading Room, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Readers must complete a registration form on their first visit.
  • Readers must sign the register daily and present valid photo-identification.
  • Readers may place material on “Hold” if planning to make return visits and repeated use of the material within the week.
  • Special permission may be required for access to restricted or unprocessed collections.
  • Some Special Collections material is housed in off-site storage and may require advance notice for retrieval. Items requested by 2:00 PM will be available by 4:00 PM the same day, though off-campus visitors may want to ensure availability with 24 hour advance requests.
  • Some Special Collections material may be temporarily unavailable due to exhibition loans, conservation treatment, etc. Off-campus visitors may want to ensure availability with advance requests.
  • For any questions regarding requesting and using Special Collections materials, please contact AskSpec.

Rules of the Reading Room

  • Purses, backpacks, briefcases, coats, and all items not required for research must be left in the reception area closet before entering the Reading Room.
  • Food and drink are not permitted.
  • Special Collections material must be handled with great care. Do not make any marks on the materials and do not open uncut pages. Ask for assistance, if needed.
  • USE PENCIL ONLY for note taking in the Reading Room. A department laptop computer is available for use in the Reading Room. Readers may also use their own laptops.
  • The University of Delaware Library reserves the right to limit the amount of material issued to a reader at any one time. Readers are permitted to use one book at a time. Exceptions may be made by the Reading Room supervisor, if appropriate. (Examples: readers using multi-volume sets or working on textual comparisons.).
  • Keep Special Collections materials on reading room table surfaces at all times, unless provided special supports for the materials by the desk attendant.
  • No books, papers, or other objects (except the special weights provided by the desk attendant to hold books open) may be laid on Special Collections materials.
  • When using manuscript material, do not disturb the arrangement of papers or folders. Ask for assistance if order of manuscript material is questioned.
  • When finished using Special Collections material, please return it to the desk and wait until the material has been checked in.

Reproducing and Photographing Special Collections Materials

The University of Delaware Library will permit a reasonable amount of photocopying from its print and manuscript holdings, but reserves the right to restrict copying from any of its collections and to deny requests for copies.

  • Patrons are limited to 200 pages/images per semester.
  • Not all materials may be photocopied, for reasons such as preservation, age, or rarity.
  • Photocopies of documents in Special Collections are for personal research only. Copies may not be donated to other repositories by the recipient, and may not be further reproduced without explicit permission of the University of Delaware Library.
  • Under the provisions of the Copyright Act (Title 17, U.S. Code), which governs photocopies and other reproductions, the photocopy or reproduction may not be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a researcher makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that researcher may be liable for copyright infringement.
  • Applications to reproduce Special Collections materials must be submitted through the “Application to Reproduce Special Collections Materials” online webform.
  • All requests for photography must be approved by a Special Collections librarian. Use of a digital camera in the Reading Room must be approved.
  • Approved photography is allowed by appointment ONLY. Please call (302) 831-2229 to make an appointment.
  • A copy stand for photography is available for use in the Special Collections reading room.
  • Scans or digital photographs also require permission from a librarian. Special Collections is only able to accommodate scanning requests on a limited basis.
  • Permission to reproduce or to photograph material does not imply permission to publish.

Permission to Publish

  • Permission to consult or reproduce manuscripts does not constitute authorization to publish them. Please submit requests for permission to publish in writing or via AskSpec to be approved by a Special Collections librarian.
  • When sending a request, please submit an outline of the project or interest that prompts the request, including the publication type, author, title, publisher, publication date, and print run (volume/issue number, if applicable). Explain the intended use of the image(s) and, if applicable, location within publication (interior or cover) and whether or not Internet use is being requested. Specify the image being requested including all bibliographic information (e.g. manuscript collection number, title, box, and folder).
  • Granting permission to publish does not transfer copyright, and permission is granted only to the extent of the University of Delaware Special Collections’ ownership of the rights related to the request. Certain works requested which are physically owned by Special Collections may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests not owned by Special Collections.
  • The responsibility for determining whether any such intangible rights exist, for obtaining all necessary permissions, and for guarding against the infringement of those rights that may be held elsewhere, remains with the requester.