Michigan State University

Visiting Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections

Reading Room Privileges & Rules

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.

Access to Special Collection Materials

Special Collections materials may be used by Michigan State University faculty, staff, and students, and by other qualified persons. Appropriate identification (MSU I. D. or driver’s license) may be requested.

Special Collections stack areas are closed to the public. After submitting a request form 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.

General Guidelines

  • Only materials needed for note-taking may be taken to the reading tables. Coats, briefcases, backpacks, and other paraphernalia are to be left in space provided.
  • Only pencil or laptop computers may be used at the reading tables for note-taking.
  • Cell phone use is not permitted in the reading room.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted in the reading room.

Handling of Materials

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.
  • Pages should be turned gently.

Special Collections provides the following services. If you have further questions, please contact the Special Collections reading room during our normal hours.

Services

Special Collections provides the following services. If you have further questions, please contact the Special Collections reading room during our normal hours.

InterLibrary Loan

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 the copyright laws. Individuals are advised to contact a local public or research library and its interloan program. Information about MSU's InterLibrary Loan unit can be found at InterLibrary Services (Document Delivery).

Copying Services

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 copy order if, in our judgment, fulfillment of the order would violate United States copyright law, 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 owner’s copyright 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 scholarly use. Patrons using this equipment must have the permission of a Special Collections staff member to ensure safety of the material.

Placing a Copy Order 

MSU Affiliates

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.

Non-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 grey scale 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.

Notice warning concerning copyright restrictions

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.

Directions and Housing

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.

Visiting scholars have several choices at MSU for lodging. 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 deststconf@rhs.msu.edu for 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.