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Access Information for the Photography Collection

Requesting Materials
No appointment is necessary to consult with Photography Collection staff during public service hours, though advance planning is strongly recommended for research. Twenty-four hour notification is required for the retrieval of collection materials. Most book materials on photography can be requested through room 300 and do not require advance notification.

A Special Collections card is required to use the Photography Collection; this can be obtained from Photography Staff in Room 308. Prior to obtaining admissions to Special Collections, users must first obtain a Library Card. For use of original photographic material, the reader must apply for a card of admission from the department. Each applicant must provide traceable identification and supply the name and address of a non-relative reference that can verify the information on the application. The card of admission must be obtained in person and it is not transferable. The card is granted for a period not to exceed six months. Please note a card of admission does not guarantee access to all materials.

Prints and Photographs Study Room – Rules and Regulations
The Prints and Photographs Study Room (Room 308) is for use by readers and researchers who are using materials from either the Print or Photography Collection.

Readers are required to store all personal belongings in the Library’s Checkroom (the Checkroom is located on the first floor across from the Library gift shop). To protect fragile collection materials, the following items are not permitted in the Prints and Photographs Study Room:

  • Coats and Outerwear (including hats and umbrellas)
  • Bags, Briefcases and Purses larger than 11” x 14”
  • Containers, Parcels and Luggage (including portfolio folders)
  • Wheeled conveyances (including strollers)
  • Laptop Computer Cases larger than 11” x 14”
  • Food and Beverages
  • Newspapers
  • Electronic Scanners
  • Pens and Highlighters

Clear plastic bags are provided to readers at the Checkroom for conveying personal items to the study room.

All checked materials must be picked up 10 minutes prior to closing.

Library visitors must submit all books, bags, briefcases and other containers for inspection when exiting the building, including those items that were checked during a library visit.

Photography Collection researchers may be asked to check items in the Library’s Checkroom if they are deemed inappropriate by departmental staff.

Photography Collection researchers must be at least 18 years old. Children younger than 18 are not permitted in the Prints and Photographs Study Room.

All notes must be made in pencil. The use of personal computers is permitted, but readers may be asked to check their laptop computer case.

No cellular phone usage, including text messaging, is permitted in the Study Room.

The two computer terminals located in the Study Room are for research purposes only. These terminals may not be used for personal e-mail or Internet usage.

Photography Collection materials may not be transferred to another reader.


Handling Materials in the Photography Collection
Researchers are asked to follow Photography Collection staff instructions regarding the proper touching and handling of images in the Collection. Researchers can help extend the life of photographs by following these simple preservation-oriented directions.

  • Please wash your hands prior to handling photographs. Some collections may require the use of cotton gloves, which will be provided by Photography Collection staff.
  • Do not touch the photographic surface. Handle photographs by their edges.
  • Take care to adequately support photographs when removing them from boxes or folders.
  • Photographs should remain face-up at all times.
  • Do not lean on or place anything on top of collection materials.
  • When viewing a collection of images, please maintain the original order of the box and/or folders.
  • Photographs may not be removed from their protective sleeves in order to see the verso (reverse side of the image).


Photographic Services & Permissions
Photography of materials in the Study Room is not permitted. For information about obtaining photographic reproductions of items from the collection, please consult with the Library’s Office of Photographic Services & Permissions.