MSU Special Collections exists to preserve the heritage of the past and acquire important records of contemporary culture while making these materials available for use. The following rules are not devised to impede the use of materials, but rather to guarantee their preservation and orderly administration. We ask our readers to share our concern to conserve these resources by observing our regulations governing their use.
Special Collections is open to the public and materials may be used by Michigan State University students, faculty, staff, visiting researchers, and members of the community. Users will need to provide a currently valid MSU photograph ID or a government-issued ID or driver's license.
Special Collections stack areas are closed to the public. After creating a research account and submitting requests through the online Registration and Request System, a staff member will retrieve the materials for use.
Material may be used in the reading room only and should be returned to the reading room desk when finished.
- Please store coats, briefcases, backpacks, and other paraphernalia in space provided. Only materials such as paper, pencils, and laptop computers needed for note-taking may be taken to the reading tables.
- Talking on cell phones is not permitted in the reading room.
- Food and beverages are not permitted in the reading room.
- The use of pens is not allowed in the reading room.
Materials are to be handled carefully:
- Notebooks should not be placed on top of materials.
- Care should be taken not to lean on the materials.
- Tracing or notes of any kind are not to be made by placing paper on top of materials and no marks should be added or erased from Special Collections materials.
- Pages should be turned gently.
- Please maintain the order and arrangement within archival folders.
Special Collections provides the following services. If you have further questions, please contact the Special Collections reading room during our normal hours.
While materials in Special Collections are non-circulating on InterLibrary Loan, it may be possible to obtain some items as photocopies or scanned file attachments. We reserve the right to decline a request based upon the material's condition and/or copyright laws. Individuals are advised to contact a local public or research library and its InterLibrary Loan program. Information about MSU's InterLibrary Loan unit can be found at InterLibrary Services (Document Delivery).
To assist patrons in their research, Special Collections offers limited on- and off-site copying and digital photographic services. We reserve the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in our judgment, fulfillment of the order would violate United States copyright law, or damage the material, or place an unreasonable burden on Special Collections' staff time. The sale of a reproduction does not imply an authorization to publish. It is the reader's responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holders to publish texts and facsimiles.
Non-flash digital cameras and personal scanners are permitted in the Special Collections reading room for patrons who wish to make copies for personal scholarly use. Patrons using this equipment must have the permission of a Special Collections staff member to ensure safety of the material.
MSU affiliates may request photocopy services by completing a copy request form using their registration account and flag pages for copying at the time of their visit. There are no charges for MSU affiliates.
MSU affiliates may request scanning services by completing a copy request form using their registration account and flag pages for scanning at the time of their visit. Scanning requests are filled by the Digital Media Center. Digital images are in TIFF format and all scanning is 24 bit color at 300 dpi or higher if requested. All files are saved to a CD, or can be scanned to a drop box and the patron provided access to the file. Normal turnaround time is 24 hours, unless the request is large and complex. There are no charges for MSU affiliates.
On-site patrons requesting photocopy services complete a copy request form using their registration account and flag pages for copying at the time of their visit. Photocopies are 20 cents per exposure. Payment is by cash or check only. On-site copy requests can usually be completed the day of the request, depending on staff availability.
On-site patrons requesting scanning services complete a copy request form using their registration account and flag pages for scanning at the time of their visit. Scanning requests are filled by the Digital Media Center. Digital images are in TIFF format and all scanning is 24 bit color at 300 dpi or higher if requested. All files are saved to a CD, or can be scanned to a drop box and the patron provided access to the file. Normal turnaround time is 24 hours, unless the request is large and complex. The standard cost is $25 for set up and $1 for each image. Pickup and payment of orders is at the MSU Copy Center.
Off-site copy requests are referred to the MSU Library InterLibrary Services. Individuals are advised to contact a local public or research library and its interlibrary loan program. Digital images are 400 dpi in grayscale or color with format in either TIFF or JPEG. Ariel or Odyssey delivery is preferred, but images can be scanned to a drop box and the patron provided access to the file. Regular ILL service fees cover cost of scanning.
Requests for other copying services, including publication-quality scans, should be directed to the Head of Special Collections.
The copyright law of the United States (title 17 U.S. code) governs 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 the 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 violate copyright law.
To find information on getting to the MSU Libraries, go to the MSU Libraries page on Address & Visiting. There is information on parking, link to a campus map, and floor plans for all the floors of the main building.
The Special Collections reading room is currently located in the basement and is accessible by the East or West library elevators. Researchers requiring special accommodations are encouraged to contact us prior to their visit. Handicapped parking is available in the parking lot immediately by the Library building, with a wheelchair accessible ramp in the South entrance.
The following are links to information regarding lodging possibilities during your visit to MSU. They are listed from lowest cost to highest.
- Owen Hall, a graduate dormitory which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Main Library. Contact Conference Services at (517) 353-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org further information.
- Live On, Residence Education Housing Services, provides information about additional possibilities for staying on campus
- Kellogg Center, this is an on-campus hotel/conference center with in-house restaurants. Walking time to the library would be again about 10-15 minutes.
- MSU Recommended Local Hotels and Inns, this is a list of nearby hotels and inns with prices and information about shuttle service.