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Special Collections Guidelines

Statement on Sensitive Materials

Feinberg Library’s collections include materials housed within Special Collections and archives, and are made accessible to the public as historical record. Some materials within our collections contain offensive images, language, or other content. These records document a time and place in history, serving as a portrayal of the social mindsets and occurrences of their time. They do not mirror the current views of SUNY Plattsburgh or the Feinberg Library, which seek to encourage a vibrant and diverse learning community.

Reading Room Guidelines

Because many of the Special Collections holdings are unique, rare, or impossible to replace, special guidelines are necessary to preserve and protect the collection. This is not a circulating library; the materials do not leave the room. Special Collections is a quiet study area.

  • To ensure security of the collection, sign-in is mandatory. Positive identification may be required.
  • Coats and bags must be left by the coat rack. Only those materials that are essential for research (notebooks, pencils) may be brought to the study tables.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in Special Collections.
  • Most of our books and periodicals are open stack materials. Other materials, such as manuscripts, photographs, pamphlets, news clippings, films, maps, and rare books are in the closed stacks. You must fill out a call slip to use these materials and give it to the attendant, who will retrieve the material you need.
  • When you are finished with materials, please leave them on the study table.
  • Use of personal scanners in Special Collections is allowed with permission of the Special Collections Librarian. If you wish to have anything copied or scanned by our staff, you must fill out a Duplication Request form and give it to the attendant. Whenever possible, scans or copies will be made while you wait. During busy times, or for large orders, photocopies will be available within 72 hours and scans will be available within five business days. No photocopying or scanning will be started within 15 minutes of closing time. Please refer to our Duplication Guidelines, Fees, and Permissions below.
  • The use of photographic equipment must have prior written approval from the Special Collections librarian. Regular duplication fees apply to all items photographed by researchers.
  • Do not mark any Special Collections materials. Use of pens and magic markers is not permitted in Special Collections. Pencils are available on all of the study tables.
  • In rare instances, some materials will not be available for research. These circumstances include materials in very poor condition, those with legal restrictions, and donor requests.
  • Personal laptops are permitted in the Reading Room.
  • Due to space limitations, Special Collections seating is only for persons utilizing the collection.

Duplication Guidelines, Fees, and Permissions

Guidelines and Fees

Special Collections is pleased to provide duplication services for patrons, subject to the following guidelines:

  • All duplication fees must be prepaid.
  • We accept debit and credit cards and checks.
  • Duplication of materials in the collections will be considered on an item-by-item basis.
  • No more than 10% of any printed publication will be duplicated. Additional restrictions may apply to some materials, based on the condition of the materials, copyright law, or prior donor agreements.
  • Digital photography is permitted with advance approval by the Special Collections librarian. No more than 10% of any item or collection may be photographed. No tripod is available in Special Collections.

Permission to Use Special Collections materials

  • Under no circumstances do Special Collections materials circulate.
  • Permission for the reproduction of materials owned by Special Collections is for one time use only and is governed by the Permission Contract, which must be signed in advance of publication or exhibition of Special Collections materials. This contract will be prepared by the Special Collections librarian or Special Collections staff.
  • Obtaining copyright permission to use materials that are owned by Special Collections, but for which we do not own the copyright, is the responsibility of the researcher.

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) govern 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 specific conditions is that a 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 laws or if the materials in question are too fragile for duplication.