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Archives & Manuscripts Department: Archival & Mauscript Policies

Archives Guidelines

A great number of the materials we preserve in Archives are unique. Most of our holdings are germane to the Southern University System.  There are a few of our collections that do not pertain to Southern University as a whole but, exist here and nowhere else. This means that if materials are lost or damaged, they can never be replaced.

We hope our guidelines will help us preserve these rare materials for use by everyone now and in the future.

Original records must be returned to the reference staff of the archives department no later than 15 minutes prior to closing.  All patrons must have removed their belongings from the reading room and have exited by 5:00 p.m.

Patrons must be 17 years of age or be accompanied by a responsible adult researcher.  Visitors must register with the archivist and wear an identification badge while they are in the area.  Smoking, eating and drinking is prohibited in the Archives Department.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS MAY OR MAY NOT BE BROUGHT INTO THE RESEARCH AREA
 
ITEM
ALLOWED
 
 
Backpacks
Not
 
 
Briefcases
Not
 
 
Coats
Not
 
 
Enclosed containers
Not
 
 
Felt pens/felt tips and other pens
Not
 
 
Fountain pens
Not
 
 
Light wraps [shawls, sweaters]
Yes
 
 
Note cards
Yes
 
 
Packages
Not
 
 
Pencils
Yes
 
 
Purses
Not
 
 
Cell Phones
Not
 
 
Cameras/Video Recorders
Not
 
 
Scanners
Please check with the Archivist
 


The items listed above which are NOT allowed in the Archives are because they interfere with the prolonged and usable life of the archives and its collections; as well as the stabilization, protection and re-treatment of documents.

Researchers must handle all records carefully and must not mark, fold, tear or otherwise harm the records in any way.  Any damage found in materials issued should be reported to staff immediately.

Researchers must not rearrange or interfere in any way with the order of archival materials.

Only one box or folder at a time will be issued to each researcher.  Researchers must return materials to the archivist as soon as they have finished using them.

Keep documents flat on the table. When reading documents, leave them flat on the table, in their file folders, and in the order in which you found them. Do not hold documents while reading them, remove them from their file folders, or change the order of documents within the file folders. Please be particularly careful not to lean on, write on, or place any objects, such as writing paper or note cards, on top of the documents.

Researchers are requested not to re-shelve books and other materials.  Please place books on the carts provided for that purpose.

Under no circumstances are archival materials to be removed from the research area.
Materials housed in the Archives department are open to all who desire to visit.  When requesting materials from the collections for the first time, patrons are required to leave a photo-identification with the archives staff. Do not forget to retrieve your identification when you leave. We are not responsible for identification left in our department.

Researchers must respect the research room conventions of courtesy and, where possible, silence.  Equipment such as tape recorders, video cameras and digital cameras are not allowed in the archives. Laptop computers may be used only with express permission of the archivist.

The damage from photocopying is cumulative and irreparable.  Because of this, photocopying special collections materials is never customary, but should instead be reserved for special situations.  [Therefore, we are asking researchers to please make a good faith effort to take notes before requesting photocopies].