Reading Room Guidelines

Reading Room Guidelines

By requesting and confirming an appointment, all researchers agree to follow the Reading Room Guidelines, Reading Room Policies, and Reproduction Policy.

The University of Connecticut requires that all visitors, faculty, staff, and students wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

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. The McDonald Reading Room is equipped with audio-visual equipment, computers and listening stations for researchers using multimedia materials.

Please keep the following considerations in mind as you prepare for your visit:

  • You must present a valid photo ID when you arrive. 
  • No food or drink are allowed in the reading room, including water, gum, candy, or cough drops.
  • Some materials may be subject to access or reproduction restrictions due to donor agreement, privacy considerations, or preservation concerns.
  • Staff will ask you to store bags, purses, coats, and other personal property in our coatroom lockers. Bags may be subject to search by staff.
  • You can bring laptops, loose paper, and pencils into the reading room. Pens, markers, and highlighters are not allowed.

When handling materials, you must observe the following:

  • 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.

Use of collections

During the use of the archival collections, including collections that are unprocessed or have been minimally processed by archival staff, information with regard to third parties and privacy-protected information may be revealed. Manuscript collections that include twentieth and twenty-first century archival materials may contain information that is protected under federal or state "right to privacy" laws, including but not limited to certain educational, medical, financial, criminal, attorney-client, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to third parties or living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal cause for action. 

Researchers agree to indemnify and hold harmless the University of Connecticut and its officers, employees, and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions, and expenses arising out of use of archival collections held by the University of Connecticut. 

Permission to examine materials is not an authorization to publish from them. Permission to publish or otherwise use reproductions for a commercial purpose must be obtained in writing from Archives & Special Collections. An application for permission to publish should identify the items to be published. Researchers who plan eventual publication of their work should inquire about possible copyright restrictions. In the case where the University of Connecticut is not the owner of copyright or literary rights, permission to publish must be obtained from the owner(s) of the copyright. Each researcher must assume full responsibility for any legal questions that may arise as a result of their use of materials. Exclusive rights to examine or publish materials will not be granted.

Researchers using material in a published work are requested to credit Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library. A free copy of scholarly print publications is to be presented to Archives & Special Collections as soon as the work is completed.


If you have questions about accessing our collections, planning a visit, or ordering reproductions, please contact our Research Services staff at (860) 486-2524 or