Archives & Special Collections Policies

Acquisition Policy

Potential acquisitions, transfers, and gifts of collection materials are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by professional staff of Archives & Special Collections.

The terms of acceptance are outlined in the Archives & Special Collections Deed of Gift and are summarized as follows:

  • Donor represents and warrants that they have the full right, power and authority to give the Property to the University, and that the Property is free and clear of any and all claims, judgments, interests, restrictions, liens, infringements, or encumbrances, and that to the best of their knowledge the Donor has the right to transfer clear title of the Property to the University by this Deed of Gift.
  • Donor represents and warrants that it is the only lawful owner(s) of the Property, or that Donor is fully and legally authorized by the lawful owner(s) of the Property to enter into this Deed of Gift.
  • Donor acknowledges that upon execution of the Deed of Gift, the Property irrevocably becomes the property of the University and that the disposition of the Property is at the University’s sole discretion.
  • Donor acknowledges that researchers who follow rules established by Archives and Special Collections for handling collection materials may have full access to these materials, including the right to make single copies in lieu of note taking, unless limiting conditions are specifically stated by the donor. Unreasonable restrictions on access to donated materials are prohibited, however limited restrictions may be imposed by the donor or repository to protect individual privacy.
  • If Donor does not transfer to the University of Connecticut Library the copyright and literary property rights in so far as such rights are held by the donor, the University shall have the right to copy, reformat, migrate or otherwise transform the Property in physical and digital form for the purposes of 1) long-term preservation and 2) to support its mission, research and discovery in an educational setting.
  • Federal law prohibits ASC staff from appraising potential donations. If the Donor desires an appraisal of their collection for tax purposes they should seek out a qualified appraiser.

Conditions governing retention: The repository and the donor will agree on the manner in which items that are unsuitable for retention will be treated. Acceptance of a collection is not a commitment to retain it in perpetuity.

Donations will not be accepted on deposit.


Reading Room Policy

The McDonald Reading Room is a supervised area in which researchers may examine collections held by Archives & Special Collections. Rules governing the use of materials are designed to protect and secure these collections and to preserve them for future research use. Use of the reading room is solely for the purpose of consulting collection materials and is not for general study.

All researchers must register before accessing materials. You must present a photo ID at the reference desk and place your personal belongings in one of the lockers in the coatroom.

Please observe the following:

  • Use pencils only
  • No food or drink, including cough drops, candy and chewing gum
  • No bags, including purses, laptop and camera cases
  • No overcoats
  • Set cell phones to mute or vibrate. If you need to take a call please leave the reading room and speak in the building lobby
  • Make sure documents rest fully on the work surface
  • Turn pages from the top of the document
  • Limit handling of documents, do not write on or trace materials
  • Do not fold pages
  • Maintain the order of loose papers in folders, and the order of folders in boxes. If you believe something is misplaced in a collection, please notify staff.
  • Use paper markers to keep your place
  • Use book cradles to support the spine of volumes
  • Use weights provided to keep oversized documents in place
  • Avoid placing anything on the document (especially elbows)
  • Use of camera flash and tripods may be limited; no use of additional lighting or supports is allowed, other than those supplied by staff
  • Notify the staff if you find torn or very fragile items in the collections that should be removed for repair. If book pages are uncut, notify staff and do not separate them yourself.


Reproduction Policy

Reproductions may be made available for one-time use for research, teaching and private study and may not be further copied or made available to another researcher or repository without prior permission. Permission to publish or otherwise use reproductions for a commercial purpose must be obtained in writing from the University of Connecticut and the copyright holder. Each researcher must assume full responsibility for any legal questions that may arise as a result of use of reproductions.

We reserve the right to refuse to reproduce materials in our collections if materials might be damaged by the reproduction process, if the intellectual integrity of the collection will be jeopardized, or if reproduction is restricted by United States Copyright Law or by donor agreement.

You are welcome to bring your own camera into the reading room to take photographs of research material.

We can also provide copies for you, for a fee. Reproduction orders generally have a 30-working-day turnaround. You can order copies from our collection on our Reproduction Request form.


Self-Service Photography Policy

Self-service photography for personal reference purposes is permitted for certain collections. Photographs taken in the Reading Room are subject to copyright, privacy, and data protection legislation. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission to publish or use reproductions for commercial purposes from all relevant copyright holders.

Switch any sounds off on your camera or device, and do not use the flash. Materials should remain in their folder, Mylar sleeve, or book cradle. Consult with ASC staff to arrange use of the copy stand. If you need a high-resolution scan of an item, please place an order for a PDF or high-resolution scan through our reproduction service. ASC staff reserve the right to deny self-service photography requests.

Copyright: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Allowed Equipment:

  • Camera phone
  • Tablet
  • Basic digital cameras

We do not allow:

  • Handheld scanners (including scanning apps on smartphones)
  • Bridge or super-zoom compact cameras
  • Professional photography equipment
  • Tripods