Using Collections in Special Collections University Archives

University ARchives: photo of college boys in old car waving cornstalksUsing the Collections

Research assistance is limited to 30 minutes.  For more extended research assistance, we recommend that you hire a freelance researcher.  Please contact us if you are interested in this option.

Also see Finding Primary Source Materials and the Research Guide to Primary Source Materials

Handling guidelines: Early Manuscripts, Glass-Format Images, Architectural Drawings, Archival Collections

Welcome to Special Collections and University Archives

Please read the following policies concerning the use of materials in the Paulson Reading Room and in the Special Collections and University Archives Classroom. By using Special Collections and University Archives materials, you agree to comply with these policies and procedures, due to the materials' rare and often irreplaceable nature.

Registration with Special Collections and University Archives lasts for one year. Registration requires a UO ID or an government-issued photo ID, such as driver's license or passport. Re-registration is an easy process.
Electronic devices including cell phones
Please turn off your cell phone ringer and mute your laptop. If you need to make a cell phone call, walk outside the department.
No food
No food or beverages, including chewing gum and water, are allowed.
Location of use
All materials must be used in the Paulson Reading Room or in the Special Collections and University Archives Classroom.
Pens are not permitted. Notes may be taken only with pencil or on laptop computers. If you borrow a pencil, please return it.
Please be considerate of other researchers by speaking softly and keeping conversations to a minimum. Please make cell phone calls outside the department. Please also respect the privacy of other researchers.
Personal property
We have lockers available in which to place backpacks, briefcases, bags, purses, and all other personal property not essential to your work. Such items are not allowed in the Paulson Reading Room or the Classroom but are safe in the lockers. Do not leave spillable containers in the locker with your personal property. Please remember to return your key.
You may wear your jacket, place it in your assigned locker, or hang it up on the coat rack. You may not, however, hang it on the back of a chair.
Handling materials
Please respect the fragile nature of the materials and handle them with care. Please do not mark in or on them in any way. Please place pencils on the table while turning pages. Please be careful not to exert pressure on any material. All bound items must be placed on foam supports for viewing.
Handling of manuscripts and archival material
Do not rest an arm on a document or write notes on paper or cards placed on top of a document.
Handling of rare books
Rare books should be handled with extreme care. Please do not place stress on the binding by opening the book a full 180 degrees. Bound materials must be placed on foam supports for viewing.
Handling of photographs
Please use gloves, which are available from desk staff.
Order of materials
Please retain the order in which materials are placed in boxes. Use place markers available from desk staff and remove only one folder at a time.
Duplication services
Duplication of originals (photocopies, photograph reproductions, and scans) is available for a charge and depends on the condition of the original and on possible copyright restrictions. Please notify desk staff if you want to have copies made. Departmental staff does all copying.
Camera use
Under limited circumstances, we allow researchers to use their own cameras to photograph certain materials.
Duplication of large-format items
Duplication of large items such as architectural drawings is possible but costly because we have to take them off-site. We offer only scans.
Privacy of materials
Please respect the unpublished nature of the contents of manuscripts and, in particular, recognize that disclosure of contents might constitute an invasion of privacy if published in any manner.
Publishing permissions
Please note that you must obtain all necessary permissions before any publication occurs; no manuscript material of the University of Oregon Libraries may be published or reproduced in any form without the prior written authorization by the University of Oregon Libraries.
Restricted materials
The papers in the collections requested may be restricted. The user is required to comply with these restrictions as outlined by the staff.
Returning materials
All materials are to be returned to the desk staff when you leave for the day. Please let desk staff know if you are finished with the materials or if you wish to place them on hold.
Researcher's responsibility
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel and copyright.

Access and Use of University Archives

Permanent University Archive public records are available for research, and are subject to state, and in some cases federal freedom of information laws. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, FERPA and HIPAA, specific records that are legally protected, sensitive, private, or confidential are exempt (not subject to disclosure) and closed to protect individual privacy.  Access to paper records will be granted after a professional review of the records occurs based on regulations in state and federal laws. Published electronic archival records are available in the Libraries’ Scholars’ Bank Repository. Other electronic archival records also under compliance review and processing are temporarily unavailable. For access to electronic records not yet published or processed, please place requests through the UO Office of Public Records. If you have questions about accessing University Archive records, contact Jennifer O’Neal, Corrigan Solari University Historian and Archivist. If you have general questions about the policies related to availability of University Archive records, please contact Andrew Bonamici, Associate Dean for Media and Instructional Services and interim director of Special Collections and University Archives.

The library reserves the right to refuse service for non-compliance with these rules.

To maintain the safety and integrity of early manuscripts and sensitive, fragile, or large-format materials, we have a set of general guidelines that need to be strictly adhered to.  These material include, but are not limited to, early manuscripts, glass-plate negatives, architectural drawings.
    1) Access to these materials can be guaranteed only by confirmed appointment
    2) These materials are generally not available on Saturdays unless you have a confirmed appointment.
    3) Before using these materials, a reference interview is highly recommended

Duplication Services

  1. We can provide duplicates in many formats (photocopies, scans, photographs, microfilms, and AV copies) provided the originals are in adequate condition and there are no legal restrictions upon the collection. You will be charged a service fee for production of the duplicate. We may be able to negotiate a bulk rate for production costs.
  2. If you plan to publish or display our materials, you must receive permission and you will be assessed a use fee. Use fees are charged on a sliding scale. If you are charged a use fee, you will also receive an explicit statement of the permissible uses. Any additional or altered use requires a new negotiation of the rights and the use fee. Use fees are our sole source of income for preserving our collections.
  3. You are responsible for conforming to the laws governing copyright and libel. Note that we do not hold copyright on all of our materials but will try to direct you to the copyright holder when we can. Many of our materials are out of copyright protection, but we retain property rights in those materials. For more info see the Copyright Management Center and their checklist.
  4. Photocopy requests should be limited to 100 copies. Larger orders will incur a 25% service charge and are subject to approval by the curator. If, in the judgment of the curator, you have requested duplication of a substantial portion of a collection, we may require that the collection be microfilmed instead of photocopied. Microfilming may be more expensive but it is less damaging and preserves the collection by creating a persistent surrogate.
  5. We may require that you pay for the production of a copy negative for preservation of photographic materials, but we retain ownership of all negatives.
  6. We can ship duplicated materials to you. You will be charged a minimum shipping and handling fee of $5.00. We can ship by courier if you have a courier account.
  7. We can often expedite duplication. A fifty percent surcharge will be added to the service fee.
  8. We may require that you pay a deposit for large duplication orders.
Format Turnaround Service fee Use fee
Photocopies 72 hours $0.25 per page None
Scans 2 weeks varies Negotiated
Microfilm 4-6 weeks $0.65 per frame None
Photography 2 weeks varies Negotiated
AV 2 weeks varies Negotiated


Created by nhelmer on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Mar 29, 2015