Lamont Library

Guidelines for Use and Handling of Collections

Manuscripts are unique and irreplaceable and therefore must be handled with care in order to preserve documents for future research. Your cooperation and care in handling materials ensure the preservation of their physical and textual integrity.

The following rules have been established to provide access to our collections while ensuring their preservation. By signing the Application for Examination of Collections upon arrival, readers agree to observe the following regulations:

  • Pens may not be used while using the collections. Pencils may be used.
  • Personal computers may be used.
  • Patron bags must remain on the floor. Coats may not be placed on the tables.
  • Readers may photocopy, photograph, or scan collections within the guidelines and constraints of the Application for Examination of Manuscripts, unless otherwise directed by a member of staff.
  • Flash photography is not allowed.
  • Archival materials do not circulate and must not leave the Phillips Reading Room.
  • Do not rest anything on top of manuscript material.
  • If you need to mark a place, you may place sheet of paper in place so that it sticks out above the level of the folder and so that you can easily remove it when you have finished. For example, this might be a vertical 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper sticking out above a horizontal folder. This slip or sheet of paper should be blank except for pencil notes above the level of the folder and should be removed prior to the end of the visit.
  • Archival folders must remain flat on the table at all times. Contents should also remain flat and in order in their opened folder while being read. Readers should remove items from the folders as little as possible. Items that must be removed from the folder (for example, to scan) should be placed back in the folder immediately and in original order.
  • Papers should be handled as little as possible and turned carefully to avoid smudging or tearing.
  • Do not add or erase marks from manuscript materials. While researching materials, use only pencil to make notes. Do not use pens under any circumstance as pen marks are impossible to remove.
  • All materials in boxes or cartons should be kept in the order that they are received. Please remove one folder at a time and do not pull items out of their original order in the folder.

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