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Archives & Manuscripts Department: Rare Items

Rare Items

Researchers must follow all instructions given by Archives regarding the handling of rare materials. Many are unique, and many are fragile. Please note carefully the following:

  • Researchers are asked to handle rare materials with the utmost care, and must use any supporting apparatus, such as a cradle, as instructed by the Archivist. In most cases, rare books should not be laid flat on the worktable, but must be placed in a cradle for support. Books may not be placed in the lap or in any other position off the table and cradle. Do not lean on any book.

  • Researchers should handle pages by their edges to avoid bending or soiling, and are requested to wear cotton gloves, which are provided by the Archives

  • Do not hold the books open with any weight or other apparatus.

  • Do not write or make marks in any book, or fold the pages of any book or document.

  • Notes must be taken on paper laid on the table, not laid on the book. No tracings or rubbings may be made of any pages or binding of any book or document.

  • Should you find any unopened pages (pages which have not been cut), please bring the document or book to the Archivist and do not attempt to cut the pages yourself.

Should you need to photocopy any pages, please contact the Archivist, who will determine whether the material may be photocopied. In some cases, rare materials may be too fragile to photocopy, and the request will be denied. The Archivist or other staff person will photocopy the materials for you.

The researcher is responsible for obtaining permission to publish material from the Archives Department if applicable, and for compliance with all laws relating to copyright and defamation which may pertain to their use of the materials.