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The Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center




About the Archives


Researcher policies

  • Registration
  • Hours and Accessibility
  • Restricted Materials
  • What is allowed into the Archives Reading Room
  • Photocopying Services
  • Using Archival Materials
  • Requests for Materials
  • Publishing Archival Materials
  • Registration: All patrons must register with staff and present photo identification prior to use of Archives and Special Collections materials. Confirmation of permanent residence is required.

    Hours and Accessibility: Current hours are found on the bottom right side of this page. During the fall and spring semesters, ASC is open weekdays from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, except for designated University holidays. During the summer months ASC has reduced hours. Contact a staff member if you have questions about summer hours. Appointments are strongly recommended to ensure the availability of collections that may be stored offsite.

    Restricted Materials: Certain materials may be restricted by law or by donor. Restricted materials may not be accessed without written permission from the donor or his/her estate. The Archives and Special Collections may restrict use of unprocessed collections and materials of exceptional value or fragile condition. Whenever possible, facsimiles of rare and/or fragile materials will be provided for use by patrons.

    What is Allowed into the Archives Reading Room: Patrons’ belongings will be put away before they can access collection materials. No pens, markers, or other harmful writing utensils are allowed; only pencils may be used for taking notes. No smoking, food, chewing gum, or beverages are allowed in the reading room. Researchers may bring pencils, notes, and/or laptop computers into the reading room. All other belongings, including coats, books, briefcases, purses, and other items will be stored away from the research area. Patrons are subject to search before departure from the reading room. Patrons must request permission in advance to use cameras or other photographic equipment.

    Photocopying Services:

    Photocopying of Archival Materials

    • Researchers are not permitted to make their own photocopies of archival materials.
    • Archives and Special Collections staff may refuse photocopy requests of rare, fragile, or oversized materials.
    • A maximum photocopy order of 30 pages may be placed at one time. See staff regarding current photocopy fees.
    • No more than 10% of a collection may be photocopied for a patron.
    • Content from books will only be reproduced by staff and only if the Head of ASC or the Head of Reference inspects the item and agrees that duplication of the item will not violate copyright law and condition of the item is good enough that the duplication process will not cause harm.
    • Photocopying requests are filled by the Archives and Special Collections staff, and may require time to process.
    • Photocopies may not be further reproduced.
    • Supplying a photocopy is not authorization to publish.
    • The current rate for photocopies is 25 cents per page. Payment may be made by check or exact change at the time of service. For large photocopy orders (over 30 pages), the customer can be billed and the photocopies can be shipped to the customer's mailing address.
    • Photocopy orders provided by mail may be subject to shipping and handling fees.

    Photographing of Archival Materials

    ASC allows patrons to bring in and use personal cameras (regular or digital) under the following conditions:

    • Before photographing any materials the patron must obtain permission from the Head of ASC or the Head of Reference and must complete a Photography request form identifying what they will be photographing and for what purpose.
    • Photography must be for personal or research use only; special permission is required to publish or further reproduce the materials in the ASC collections in print, on the Internet, or for exhibition purposes. If you anticipate publishing any original material from the ASC collections, request a Digital Image Request form.
    • No flash photography can be used.
    • Items photographed must be loose (unbound) manuscripts in good condition without donor restrictions.
    • Only up to 10% of a collection may be reproduced.
    • No tripods, supports, special lighting, or other photographing apparatus may be brought into the reading room except with advance special permission from the Head of ASC or the Head of Reference.
    • Patrons will not prop items up or lean on items during the photographing process. ASC staff may, in some instances, be able to provide physical supports for items while they are being photographed.
    • Patrons who are photographing materials will be respectful of other researchers and not disrupt the quiet study environment of the Reading Room.
    • ASC staff will supervise the photographing process and reserve the right to refuse permission to photograph materials if patrons abuse these rules.
    • It is the user's responsibility to obtain the University's and/or other copyright holder's permission before using the material for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.
    • Patrons are not at any time allowed to bring in personal scanners.
    • Photographs will be reproduced by ASC staff through our standard system, fees, and permission form.
    • Content from books will only be reproduced by staff and only if the Head of ASC or the Head of Reference inspects the item and agrees that duplication of the item will not violate copyright law and condition of the item is good enough that the duplication process will not cause harm.
    • General photography of the physical space is allowed.

    Using Archival Materials: Archival materials are rare, unique and original, and must be handled with care. They must not be marked, torn, cut, folded, leaned on, handled poorly, or otherwise damaged. Do not trace archival materials, or take notes on top of them. Never adhere post-it notes, paperclips, or other potentially harmful items to collection materials. Notify staff of any items that require preservation attention. Always maintain the existing order of materials within each folder and box. Never rearrange or alter the location of archival materials. Do not separate materials from their folders. Use gloves when handling photographs or other fragile materials as directed by staff. Material may not be removed from the archives research area. Archival materials are never loaned and are not to leave the premises under any condition.

    Requests for Materials: Although materials in the Archives and Special Collections are accessible to Purdue faculty, students, staff, and the general public, only Archives and Special Collections personnel are allowed access to the stacks. The staff in the Archives and Special Collections retrieve materials for patrons. Archives and Special Collections holdings are non-circulating and do not leave the building under any circumstances. Patrons may only use one box of materials at a time, and remove only one folder at a time from each box.

    Publishing Archival Materials: Written permission must be obtained before publishing archival materials. In giving permission to copy, quote from, or publish, the Archives does not surrender its own right to publish such material or to grant permission to others to do so. Archival material will not be reproduced in violation of copyright laws. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission to publish. Researchers assume full responsibility for the use of material obtained from the Archives and conformity to the law of defamation, privacy, and copyright. The researcher shall indemnify and hold harmless Purdue University and its employees from any claims arising as a result of his or her use of the material obtained. In the event that the donors have retained literary rights to their materials, the researcher must obtain written permission from them before publication of any such material. If portions of the archives are reproduced in published or unpublished sources, citations must include: “[Collection Title, Folder Title, Box #], Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.” A copy of any published work that includes materials used in the Archives and Special Collections must be presented to the unit at no cost.


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