Special Collections Research Center Use Policies
Georgetown University's Special Collections are open to all users who present some form of photographic identification and follow our rules.
The Special Collections Research Center is preparing for a major renovation. Many of our collections are currently offsite. All researchers are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. We will be unable to accommodate most walk-in requests for the next several months.
Fifth floor of Lauinger Library
Phone: (202) 687-7444 Fax: (202) 687-7501
Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
No new materials will be pulled for researchers after 4:30 p.m.
The Reading Room is closed on Fridays. Access by appointment only.
- Please submit a photo I.D. to the reading room desk attendant; the I.D. will be held at the front desk while you are working in the reading room.
- Please help guarantee the security of our material by placing all personal property (including bags and coats) in the lockers outside the reading room designated for the special use of our researchers. Only pencils, paper, and portable computers may be brought into the reading room.
- Georgetown University Library is not responsible for damage or theft of items stored in the lockers.
- No food (including chewing gum) or beverages are permitted in the reading room.
- Staff reserve the right to inspect all personal items (books, notes, computer cases, etc.) on the arrival and/or departure of any researcher when use of Special Collections material is requested.
- No material will be pulled after 4:30 p.m.
Using Special Collections Materials
- Requests for access to manuscript and archival material for any purpose involving pending litigation must be made through the office of the University Counsel. Failure to disclose this intent may constitute a serious breach of legal ethics.
- Use NO INK when examining research material. (Pencils are supplied upon request.)
- Please wash and completely dry your hands before handling materials.
- Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance with handling or finding materials; we are eager to help!
- THREE boxes may be requested at a time. Depending on the amount of material per folder and the value of the contents, only one box or one folder may be provided at a time (based upon the discretion of Department staff).
- FIVE volumes may be requested at a time. However, only one volume may be served at the discretion of Research Center staff. Requests for rare books located in the Vault must be approved by the rare books librarian or the SCRC Department Head.
- Please use foam book supports for bound volumes unless otherwise instructed.
- For manuscripts and Archives, please preserve the existing order of the material in each folder. Report any disarrangement discovered to the Research Center staff.
- Please do not mark materials in any way either directly or by writing notes on top of them, or by resting books or other objects on the surface of the material.
- When returning material, please replace all folders in proper numerical or alphabetical sequence in the box and replace box covers securely. Please ask for assistance when returning rare books and periodicals.
- Notify staff when leaving the reading room.
- Please return all material before leaving for the day.
- Staff must be alerted to boxes containing requests for reproductions. Individual folders containing reproductions requests must be replaced in the appropriate boxes.
- Reproductions cause permanent and cumulative damage to materials. Reproductions requests will be granted only on a case-by-case basis depending on the condition of the material and possible copyright restrictions.
- Information on the SCRC Reproductions and Permissions Policy is available here.
- Responsibility for Special Collections/University Archives material is assumed by the researcher until all items have been returned to and accounted for by Division staff.
- It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the owner of literary rights, including copyright, and obtain permission from the owner of those rights before the Special Collections materials are published or used commercially.