Planning Your Visit

Please note that SC&UA is open by appointment, with limited walk in hours.

We look forward to assisting you with your research in the Special Collections & University Archives reading room! Before you visit, please familiarize yourself with our policies, as listed below. We also encourage you to take advantage of some of the tips and trick we outline below. Please contact us at with any questions you may have as your plan your visit.

If you wish to schedule an instruction session with Jaycie, please email her directly at We appreciate two weeks' notice to schedule and prepare for instruction. Please note that instruction is subject to availability.

SC&UA Reading Room Policies for Patrons

  • All SC&UA materials may be used in the SC&UA reading room, and SC&UA personnel must be present for patrons to access and use them.
  • No food or beverages in the reading room.
  • No pens or markers in the reading room. Take notes ONLY with pencils and paper or electronics (i.e. laptops, tablets, or smartphones).
  • No backpacks, purses, coats, etc. are permitted in the reading room. Please remove laptops and tablets from their cases and sleeves before bringing them over to the table. All such bags must be stowed in the lockers or cubbies before patrons may examine materials or study in the reading room.
  • SC&UA collection materials are not available for circulation and must remain in the reading room at all times. Special permission from the University Archivist is required to move materials for any purpose.
  • All users must have clean, dry hands (no lotion or hand sanitizer) before handling rare books or other archival materials. Gloves are usually not necessary, but will be provided as necessary.
    • NOTE: Gloves are required for photographic materials.
  • Please respect the age and fragility of these historical objects and handle them with care. Allow staff to advise and assist with handling. Use book cradles and “snakes” if advised to do so.
  • Please maintain the existing order of processed materials within their boxes. If possible, examine only one folder at a time. Do not remove, alter, or add to any identifying marks on the boxes, folders, or individual items. Use the provided bookmarks and/or “out folders” to keep your place within a folder or box. (We will make exceptions if this is a pre-determined component of a project and the overseeing librarian or archivist has given permission to make these alterations).
  • Please return material to the reference desk when you are finished with it.
  • No photographs, photocopies, or scans without prior review of the Special Collections copyright and reproductions policy and signing of the reproductions form.
  • Patrons must remain in the reading room area at all times. Staff members must oversee use of the scanners and photocopy machine. Patrons are not allowed in the closed stacks at any time.
  • Please respect a librarian, archivist, or assisting staff member's evaluation of an item as too fragile, confidential, restricted, or otherwise unsuitable for use or access. Such conditions are often detailed in the Conditions Governing Access and / or Technical Access fields in a collection's finding aid.

Tips and Tricks

  • Schedule your visit ahead of time! Make an appointment via LibCal, or notify SC&UA staff by emailing with details about when you hope to visit. This way we can ensure our availability and help make your visit as useful as possible.
  • Check our hours. Please note that due to instruction sessions and outreach events, we occasionally close our reading room to the public.   Email us at with questions or concerns about our hours.
  • Identify materials you wish to see from our collections ahead of time. You can browse the finding aids for our manuscripts collection and university archives on our website.  Volumes in our bibliographic collections (Rare Books, Wadle Paperback, Small Press, Stageberg Linguistics, and American Fiction) can be found using the library online catalog, OneSearch.
    • Because our manuscripts collection and university archives are kept in closed stacks, we appreciate your help in identifying the collection title and/or number and box numbers you wish to see ahead of time. For example, box 4 in the Eugene Francis Grossman Papers, collection number MsC-38; or box 16 in the James William Maucker Papers, record series number 02/05/01. This way we can pull materials ahead of time and have them ready for you upon your arrival.
    • For additional information on navigating and using our archives collections and finding aid database (ArchivesSpace), visit this guide.
  • Some of our material has been digitized and can be found online in UNI's Institutional Repository, ScholarWorks, and in our online university publication database, IndexUNI
  • Visit the SC&UA guide ahead of your visit for additional information about collections and search strategies.