Special Collections and University Archives
Use Policy

The policies listed here are intended to provide researchers with the fullest access possible to the collections in Special Collections and University Archives while maintaining the physical and intellectual integrity of the materials.

Use of the Collections

The Special Collections and University Archives is open to the Colgate community and the general public. Materials from the collections do not circulate and must be used in the department's reading room. Some materials may have limitations on their use due to fragility. Some collections may be restricted due to University policy, state or federal laws, or donor-implemented restrictions. Some collections may be restricted to protect the privacy of others.

  • All researchers must sign-in upon arrival, fill out a registration form, and present a valid photo ID.
  • Personal belongings (including notebooks, binders, bags, purses, etc.) are not allowed in the reading room and must be stowed prior to using materials.
  • The Department personnel will provide paper for note taking.
  • Department personnel reserve the right to inspect any materials brought into or taken out of the reading room.
  • Researchers should return materials to the front desk when finished or at closing time.
  • Items can be kept on hold for up to one week from last date of use. Please discuss hold designations with department personnel.

Physical Protection of Materials

All collections of unique materials require special handling. The user is responsible for the appropriate handling of all materials made available for use.

  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted within the Special Collections area.
  • Only pencils or laptop computers can be used with department materials. No pens are permitted.
  • Acid-free "flags" are available to mark pages for duplication orders.
  • Materials may not be leaned on, written on, folded, traced, or handled in any way which might result in damage.
  • Researchers may use one box or volume at a time.
  • When using a box of materials, please remove only one folder at a time. Use an Out-card to mark the place of the folder. During use, folders must be kept flat on the table.
  • Researchers must keep papers in their respective folders and maintain the order of those papers within the folder. Please notify SCUA personnel if files or items within a file are missing or damaged.
  • Books must be used on the table, properly supported by book mounts.
  • Certain materials, such as photographs, require that the user wear gloves when handling them.