Policies and Procedures

Special Collections is open to all researchers interested in its collections, subject to the regulations outlined below. Procedures derive from these basic concerns as well as industry best practices: quality of service to researchers, security and preservation of the materials, courtesy to other researchers, and compliance with university and library regulations.

Note: Publication of any material found in the manuscript collections of the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections is permitted only after a completed "Permission to Publish Request" is approved and signed by the Head of the Division. See "Forms for Requesting from Special Collections" for more information.

Reading Room Procedures

Special Collections is open to all researchers interested in its collections, subject to the regulations outlined below. Procedures derive from these basic concerns: quality of service to researchers, security and preservation of the materials, courtesy to other researchers, and compliance with university and library regulations.

  • All users must register annually and provide a current positive identification (with photograph).
  • Donor-imposed restrictions and processing status may limit access to collections, the availability of reproductions, or permission to publish. Researchers agree to abide by any and all restrictions, as communicated by staff when materials are requested for use.
  • No briefcases, book bags, backpacks, tote bags, sacks, purses, camera bags, computer carrying cases, or other enclosed container may be brought into the division's Reading Room. Token-operated storage lockers are provided for researchers' convenience.
  • Researchers may bring into the Reading Room only loose sheets of note paper or notebooks (upon inspection), note cards, laptop computers (upon inspection), cameras, tablets, cell phones, and flatbed scanners. Hand-held scanners may not be used in the division.
  • Eating and drinking are not permitted in the division.
  • Special Collections materials are housed in closed stacks and may be used only in the division's Reading Room. Researchers complete call slips to request materials, which are retrieved by the staff. Many materials are stored off site; advance notice is required for retrieval.
  • Research materials will not be retrieved within 30 minutes of closing. All materials must be returned 15 minutes before closing. Upon request, materials may be held on reserve in this division.
  • Please handle all research materials very carefully and follow any handling procedures outlined by staff.
  • The use of pens is prohibited; pencils may be obtained from the staff.
  • Researchers are not permitted to photocopy materials. Ask staff to explain photocopy request procedures.
  • Researchers may take photographs of materials using their own camera, subject to donor restrictions.
  • Special Collections requests a copy of the book or article should your research here result in a publication. If a copy is unavailable, please provide us with a bibliographical citation.
  • Some materials may include sensitive or confidential information protected under federal and/or state privacy laws and regulations. Researchers who find sensitive personal information, including but not limited to social security numbers and student records, in any collection should notify a staff member.
  • Notice concerning copyright restrictions: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified by law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order, if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Users who do not follow Reading Room policies and procedures may be denied access to the division's collections.

Citing Materials

View our Citations Guide for examples of citations to our collections.

Patron-Accessible Scanner

Special Collections provides access to an overhead scanner for patrons to use to make research-quality scans of collection material. Researchers must follow these policies and procedures when using the scanner:

  • The scanner in the Special Collections reading room is reserved for Special Collections researchers. Researchers using the scanner must be registered users of Special Collections and making scans of materials from Special Collections.
  • Special Collections staff must review and approve all scanning requests. Some materials cannot be scanned due to size, condition, or donor restrictions. Please ask reading room staff for assistance before using the scanner.
  • The scanner is self-service, and self-service scans are free. Special Collections staff can provide instructions for using the scanner, but researchers should plan to make their own scans. Alternatively, researchers can request that staff make reproductions for them for a fee.
  • Researchers may email or save scans to their own USB storage devices.
  • Researchers using the scanner assume all responsibility for adhering to copyright laws.
  • The scanner is available to Special Collections researchers on a first-come, first served basis. In order to accommodate as many researchers as possible, researchers are limited to 30 minutes of scanner use per day. There is no limit on the number of photographs researchers may make using a personal camera.
University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
  • Phone: 479-575-4104
  • Text/SMS: 479-385-0803
  • Toll-free: 866-818-8115
  • Fax: 479-575-6656