Reading Room Guidelines

University Archives Reading Room Guidelines

Because the University Archives and Records Management Department holds rare, unique, and other special research materials, our collections are non-circulating and the stacks are closed to researchers. The Reading Room is provided for the convenience of persons wishing to consult public records, manuscripts, and archival collections. The use of these materials is freely granted to all responsible researchers and failure to comply with this policy may result in suspension of reading room privileges.

Archives and Special Collections Account

  1. Researchers must register for an Archives and Special Collections account annually.
  2. Researchers will be asked to present a photo ID when visiting the Reading Room in order to be signed in each day.

Reading Room Use

  1. Our materials are non-circulating and must be used in the Reading Room.
  2. Food and beverages are not allowed.
  3. Use pencils only. No pens, highlighters, etc. are permitted in the Reading Room.
  4. Laptops, tablets, cameras, cell phones, and other digital recording devices may be used. No flash photography and no video recording equipment set-up without prior permission from Archives staff.
  5. Only items needed for research are allowed in the Reading Room. All containers and personal belongings not required for research, including laptop cases, backpacks, coats, and purses must be stored in lockers, or hung up.
  6. When you have finished your research for the day, please leave collection materials out on the table and ask Archives staff to sign you out of the Reading Room. You may also inform a staff member if you would like a collection placed on hold for an extended period of time.

Materials Handling and Access

  1. Materials must be handled carefully and used flat on the table or cradled, depending upon the condition of the item.
  2. No books, papers, or other objects may be laid upon materials.
  3. Be careful to not bend, fold, make or remove any existing marks, or otherwise damage materials. Do not affix adhesive post-it notes to materials, as they leave permanent residue. If you need to flag materials or use a placeholder, please consult with the Archives staff.
  4. The existing arrangement of collections must be preserved. We recommend that you use only one box or one folder at a time.
  5. For the protection of its collections, the Archives also reserves the right to restrict the use of unprocessed records and fragile materials.

Duplication and Reproductions

  1. Photocopying and scanning are free and self-service, but staff permission must be sought before copying any bound volume, oversize sheet, photograph, or fragile item.
  2. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with laws of libel, privacy, intellectual property, and copyright (including fair use) which may be involved in the use of manuscripts, archival collections, and other materials.
  3. For high quality reproductions, please consult with Archives staff.

Contact us at uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu for more information.