Remember that archives are unpublished. They are unique and irreplaceable and require careful handling. They can be fragile. Reading some documents can also require great concentration, depending on the handwriting.
For these reasons, all archive reading rooms have sets of rules relating to how one should consult the documents. This may seem boring and unfriendly but it is simply to ensure there is no risk of damaging documents or disturbing other researchers.
Archivists aim to do two things:
- Provide access to archival documents
- Preserve archival documents for future readers
Balancing these two aims can be difficult so we ask readers to help by following rules, common to most repositories.
- Our holdings must be used in the Reading Room (W250) during our regular hours.
- Researchers using archives or manuscript collections must register with the Archives on an annual basis. Researchers using inter-library loan items are not required to complete a registration form.
- Researchers must present valid photo identification and sign the logbook on a daily basis.
- Only items needed to take notes are allowed in the Reading Room. Use pencils only. Laptop computers and cameras are allowed.
- Beverages are not permitted in the Reading Room.
- Place other personal property in the lockers or on the coat rack. Practice cell phone courtesy by turning off your ringer and taking calls outside the Reading Room.
- Call slips are completed for each item requested.
- To prevent the mistaken interfiling of documents, researchers may use only one box from a collection at a time. Open only one folder at a time and keep items in the order you find them.
- Materials must be handled carefully. All materials must be used flat on the table. Do not make any marks on materials or affix extraneous items such as Post-It notes. No books, papers, or other objects (except special weights used to hold materials flat) may be laid upon materials. Please report to the staff any concerns about the material and comply with any staff instructions regarding materials.
- All inquiries concerning reproductions must be referred to the staff. A photocopier is available for self-service copying, and use of personal copying equipment is generally permitted, providing such use is discussed in advance with the staff. Researchers must also agree to the terms outlined in the Reproduction Agreement form.
- Permission to publish or display copies of our holdings must be requested in writing and is subject to the terms outlined in the Permission for Public Use form.
- When you have finished your research, please inform a staff member and indicate if you would like a collection placed on temporary hold. Material may be held for 30 days.
- Failure to comply with these regulations will result in a suspension of reading room privileges.
Rev. 10/29/2007 with AGSL & SPL
You should also familiarize yourself with the UWM Libraries User Rights and Responsibilities and Library Use Guidelines. Our friendly archivists are always happy to assist you or answer any questions that you might have.