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Archives and Special Collections: Research Assistance


Researchers are welcome to use unrestricted materials in the collection. Access to some materials may be restricted out of regard for the rights of others, by the physical condition of the material, or for other reasons.

Please plan ahead for your research visit and contact us to discuss your interests. This will enable us to prepare for your visit and pull materials in advance if necessary.


Rules for Use

Materials housed in the Archives are rare, sometimes unique records and require special care. Researchers must handle material carefully in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Non-University users must register with the Archivist.

  • Items may not be removed from the Archives.

  • Food and beverages are not permitted while using archival materials.

  • Materials must be handled with care. Documents may not be written on or otherwise damaged. Books, papers, or elbows may not be placed on open books or documents.

  • The number of books or documents issued to a patron at one time may be limited. Restricted materials may be used only under direct supervision.

  • Patrons must not disturb the order of documents within folders or boxes. Items must be returned to their original location and filing order.

  • Pencils only may be used when researching materials from the Archives collections.

  • Laptop computers and cameras are permitted as long as their use does not damage materials. Flatbed or handheld scanners are not permitted.

  • Materials may not be left unattended at any time. Patrons are responsible for materials until those items are returned to the University Archivist.

  • Limited amounts of material may be photocopied with the permission of the University Archivist if the physical condition of the item permits and if copyright restrictions are not violated.

  • Copy costs:

    • Faculty, staff and students of Alvernia University: free

    • Others: 10 cents per page



Researchers must provide an appropriate form of citation when crediting the Archives and identifying items within its holdings for later reference.

When citing published materials held in the Archives and Special Collections, use the format proscribed by the citation style you are following (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). If you need help with those citation styles, click here.

When citing unpublished materials, the preferred citation is as follows:

[Item identification.] [Name of collection.] Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Alvernia University.


Copyright Statement

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified 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.

The Library and Archives reserve the right to refuse to fulfill a request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law. For further information, visit the Copyright, Fair Use, and File Sharing section of the Alvernia University Web site.