Places & Spaces: Libraries & Centers: Special Collections and University Archives:

Service Information: Reading Room Rules

Patron Rules and Regulations

Welcome to Special Collections and University Archives. In order to insure the preservation of our collections for you and those who follow, we ask that you follow these simple rules.


General Information

  • The New Jersey Reading Room is reserved for patrons using Special Collections and University Archives materials. This also applies to the public service computer terminals at the reference desk.
  • Patrons must register, sign in and, when finished for the day, sign out at the information desk at the entrance to the Reading Room.
  • Only material for conducting research may be brought into the reading room (notebook, pencil, laptop, etc.) Place coats, bags (including laptop cases), packages, briefcases, hats and umbrellas in the coatroom (locker tokens are supplied at the information desk). These items must be retrieved by 5pm. Large items may be placed behind the reference desk.
  • Materials do not circulate and must not be removed from the reading room (microfilm excepted--see "Special Requests," below).
  • Please limit conversation to avoid disturbing others.
  • Eating, drinking (including covered beverages), and use of cell phones are prohibited.
  • Personal scanners are prohibited.
  • Items leaving the Reading Room are subject to inspection.

Use of Materials

  • Patrons must use pencil; pens are prohibited. Do not mark, erase, lean on, write, or trace on library materials.
  • Items in envelopes or folders must be kept in order. Advise reference personnel of misplaced or missing items.
  • Patrons using manuscript collections, University records, rare books or Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ) materials must complete a yellow application form available at the reference desk. Requests are limited to five books/file folders or two boxes at a time; a separate call slip must be completed for each item.
  • Some collections may contain restricted materials. Application forms for permission to use restricted materials may be obtained at the reference desk.
  • Materials can be paged until 4:45pm. Return paged materials to the reference desk. Place items from the Reading Room shelves on the re-shelving cart. SNCLY and SNCLY2 envelopes should be placed in the basket on top of the cabinets. Do not reshelve material.

Reproduction of Materials

U.S. Copyright Law applies to all materials in Special Collections and University Archives; see "Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions" which appears in the Rutgers University Libraries' Copyright Policy as well as on Special Collections and University Archives' Photocopy Order Form and Digital Reproduction Order Form. In addition, reproductions of material from Special Collections and University Archives may not be published in any form including placement on CD-ROM, video disk, publicly accessible storage and retrieval systems, or the Internet without written permission for use.

Some materials may be copied by patrons. The Reading Room photocopier takes Rutgers copy cards. Copy cards are sold at Imaging Services (formerly the Copy Center) on the basement level of Alexander Library, around the corner from SC/UA. During busy periods, photocopying is limited to ten minutes.

Based on its condition, some materials may be copied only by the Special Collections and University Archives staff. Photocopy order forms may be obtained at the reference desk.

Some materials may not be photocopied, including: rare books (X), folios, fragile, oversized and bound manuscripts. Consult reference personnel for possible alternatives.

Cameras, both traditional and digital, are permitted in the Reading Room, but only for use in accordance with the library unit's Copyright and Reproduction Policy. In addition, a copy stand is available for (supervised) use by patrons.

Flatbed and other scanning devices are not permitted in the reading room, and scanning of materials by patrons in not permitted. Please consult reference personnel regarding alternatives. Digital reproduction order forms are available at the reference desk.


Special Requests

Patrons wishing to use SC/UA microfilm must use the microfilm reader/printers in the Microfilm Reading Room on the basement level in the new wing beyond the Copy Center. Some form of identification must be left at SC/UA reference desk when taking film to be viewed. SC/UA microfilm must be returned to the Reading Room before 4:45pm.

Patrons requesting items from off-site storage must request the material two full working days in advance to allow for the material to be delivered to the Reading Room.