Reading Room Regulations

To safeguard archival and manuscript materials researchers are required to observe the following rules.

REGISTRATION: External researchers are required to check in with Special Collections staff upon entering the reading room. A valid, state-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license) may be required to complete the registration.

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Coats, books, bags and other personal items, with the exception of pencils, paper, cell phones/digital cameras, and laptop computers, should be placed neatly on or under the table next to the Reading Room entrance. Cell phones should be silenced.

ACCESSING MATERIALS: Researchers are limited at any one time to having access only to those books, manuscripts, or other items that are needed to perform the research at hand. Researchers will not be allowed to exchange items or to have access to materials brought into the room for use by another researcher. All materials must be returned to the reading room attendant when the user leaves the Reading Room.

No Special Collections/ University Archives materials may be removed from the Reading Room.

USING AND HANDLING MATERIALS: All materials must be handled with care. When using negatives or photograph slide researchers will be required to use white cotton gloves, which will be provided.

By using materials in Special Collections, the researcher agrees to: 

  • use pencils only;
  • keep materials in the exact order you find them in;
  • only remove one folder at a time from a box, and take care to replace folders in the correct order;
  • place materials flat on tables and ensure they do not hang over the edge of the table.

The following activities are forbidden in Special Collections:

  • using any writing device with ink
  • folding, tearing, cutting, or damaging documents;
  • making tracings or rubbings;
  • touching the surface of loose sheets or book pages if they can be handled by their edges;
  • applying paper clips, fasteners, rubber-bands, tape, or “Post-It” notes to materials;
  • placing anything under or on top of archival materials;
  • writing anything on top of document.

EATING AND DRINKING: Eating and drinking are not permitted in Special Collections while collections are being used.

EQUIPMENT: Researchers may use portable computers, cell phones without flash, and digital cameras without flash with permission of the staff. Security of personal equipment is the responsibility of the user.

REPRODUCTION: Some materials may be photographed with a cell phone or digital camera with permission of Special Collections staff. Limited photocopying is available for some materials and is done by staff as time permits. It may take several days or more to reproduce some materials and fees may be charged. Staff will only permit reproductions when such duplications can be done without injury to the material and when duplication does not violate donor agreements or copyright laws.

RESTRICTED MATERIALS: The use of certain documents may be restricted by statute or by donor restriction. Researchers must assume full responsibility for fulfilling the terms connected with the use of restricted material. For the protection of its holdings, Special Collections reserves the right to deny permission to use materials that are not arranged or are in the process of being arranged. Materials that are of exceptional value and/or of exceptional fragility or age may also be restricted. Glass-plate negatives may not be handled by Researchers.

PUBLICATION: A USE AGREEMENT and the permission of Special Collections staff must be obtained before any unpublished documents can be published. Permission to copy, quote from, or publish, given to an individual does not surrender the right of Special Collections to publish such material or to grant permission to others to do so. The Researcher assumes full responsibility for publication and use of material and for conformity to the laws of defamation, privacy, and copyright, and shall indemnify and hold harmless the University of North Carolina Asheville and Special Collections and University Archives from claims arising as a result of the use of the material so obtained. If literary rights have been retained by the donors or by other parties associated with the collections or material, the researcher must obtain their full permission before publication. Payment is required in advance of receiving the materials.

CITATION: Special Collections requests full citation of all material published. The location of the material must be indicated in the work. Additional examples of footnote citations are available on request.

Preferred citation: [Collection name and Item number], D. Hiden Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville