Manuscripts Policies

  • Readers must read and sign a Manuscript Reader’s Registration Form before any material is delivered.
  • Theft or mutilation of manuscripts or other library materials is a crime that will be prosecuted.
  • The University Libraries will keep records of reading room attendance, research topics, and materials used.
  • Readers may be required to show photographic identification cards.
  • Place coats, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, envelopes, etc., in the lockers or on coatracks provided. Only notepaper, pencil, and essential reference books are permitted at research tables.
  • Pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Consult staff before using recording devices.
  • Manuscripts are to be used only in the Special Collections reading room.
  • Marking of or writing upon manuscript materials is not permitted. Extreme care should be exercised when handling fragile items. Hands should be clean. Avoid leaning on documents.
  • Although readers may request more than one box or volume of material at a time, use may be restricted to one unit at one time. Please remove only one folder at a time from boxes. Please do not remove items from the folders.
  • Please maintain the exact order and arrangement of the manuscripts. If you discover a filing error, call it to the attention of a staff member. Do not rearrange items yourself.
  • With permission, selected materials in the collections may be photocopied and orders for photographic or other reproduction services placed: consult a staff member regarding procedures before removing any item from a file or box. Specific restrictions may have been placed on some collections, and items that are fragile or may be damaged by copying may be withheld. We do not ordinarily reproduce entire collections or large portions of them.
  • Readers must cite materials they use in publications. Please include the full name of the collection and of the Libraries. Example: Redpath Chautauqua Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa; or President’s Correspondence, University of Iowa Archives, Iowa City, Iowa. We reserve the right to charge use fees, in some circumstances, for our permission to publish. Quoting material in a research paper does not constitute publication; posting it to a website open to the general public may.