Using Rare Books and Historic Magazines

Rare Books Policies and Procedures

Rare books and historic magazines are cataloged in the AUC Library Catalog, which will indicate if a book is stored in a rare book's location.

Users wishing to use books located in rare book storage locations must complete a "Rare Books Request Slip" at the RBSCL Research Services Desk and leave an identification card at the desk.  A library staff member will retrieve the item for the user.

Only three rare books may be used at a time.

Rare books do not circulate and may not be taken from the RBSCL.

Rare books must be used in one of the designated monitored areas approved by library staff, typically the Rare Books Room or Creswell Room, or for historic magazines the Archives reading room.

Laptop computers and pencils may be used for taking notes (pencils can be borrowed from the Research Services Desk); the use of pens is not permitted.

Food and drink are not permitted around rare books.

Handle rare books with care: do not write in them, fold or tear or lean on pages or damage the book spine; turn pages carefully.  Users will be expected to reimburse the library for the cost of any damage caused to library materials, whether intentionally, recklessly or negligently.

Library staff members may require and provide cotton gloves for handling rare books.

Library staff will provide book cradles for items that require special support.

Reproductions (digital scans, photographs or photocopies) may be made from rare books if, in the judgment of library staff, doing so will not harm the item(s).  A reproductions form must be completed and approved by a library staff member, who will direct the user to RBSCL reproductions facilities. See Reproductions and Digitization for details.

To use personal cameras,  mobile phone cameras, or personal scanners, please consult with the Research Services Desk staff or the unit staff or subject specialist you are working with. There may be a cost for making digital images with your personal equipment.

Users intending to publish in print or online, reproduce for an audio-visual production or quote from library materials must complete an "Application for Permission to Publish, Broadcast, or Quote from Rare Books and Special Collections Library Materials" form to receive RBSCL approval, as well as seek copyright permission if the library does not hold the copyright.

For guidelines on citation format and crediting the library when basing research on or publishing images of materials from the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, see Crediting and Citing Rare Books and Special Collections Library Materials