What do I need to know about using Special Collections?



Special Collections welcomes anyone who wishes to consult our collections, enjoy an exhibit that may be on view, or simply stop in to see what we are about. Information about Special Collections material can be searched through ArchivesSpace or the library catalog, and many digitized images from our collections are searchable online.

So that we may provide more efficient help, please direct all questions, requests for appointments, requests for images, and inquiries about citations through our contact form or to our departmental telephone line at (817) 257-4566. Email and voice messages to individuals may result in a delayed response.

We can best assist you if we know you are coming. If you plan to do extensive research or will be traveling from out of town, please contact us in advance to plan your research trip. We will discuss with you the date of your visit and the research resources of most potential use to you so that we can help you get the maximum benefit from the time you spend in Special Collections.

Doing Research in Special Collections

  • Special Collections materials frequently are unique and irreplaceable. In accordance with best practices shared widely by special collections repositories, collections material may not be removed from our premises for consultation but must be used in our supervised space.
  • Some materials are stored offsite. Please contact us before your visit to ensure that your material can be accessed in a timely manner.
  • All researchers must register and provide photo identification. Registration is required once per calendar year.
  • Researchers must sign in and out daily.
  • All personal items such as backpacks, briefcases, purses, laptop cases, coats and other non-essential research items are to be stored in lockers or other designated areas in the reading room.
  • Food and drink (including water) are prohibited in the reading room.
  • Pencils and laptops are allowed for note taking. Ink pens and markers are not permitted.
  • Items should not be marked on, folded, or altered in any way.
  • The existing order and arrangement of archival material must be maintained. If an item is out of order, please tell a staff member.
  • Only one box is allowed on a research table at a time. It should be positioned to the left of the researcher.
  • Some collections may require written permission from their source to research or duplicate. Consult with staff to arrange requests for permission.
  • Access may be denied when papers are awaiting processing or when their physical condition warrants.
  • The reading room is a designated “quiet zone.”  Please silence cell phones and take calls outside the reading room. Keep other conversations at a low volume.

Reproductions and Copyright

Special Collections provides scans of materials when their condition and format permit. While we can make photocopies, they take the form of scans that can be emailed to the requestor. Material deemed by staff to be too fragile to be scanned will not be reproduced. We will not copy material that would violate copyright law (see copyright information below).

Cell phone and digital cameras may be used to capture images of material for the convenience of the researcher. These images may not be published in any way without prior permission of Special Collections staff.

Consult our Digital Copies Request form (linked below) for available reproduction methods, file formats, and pricing. Staff will assist with completion of the form when reproductions are desired.

Publication fees

There are no publication fees currently in effect. However, we do require that patrons request permission to publish so that we may guide them to the proper source to grant permission and provide the preferred citation once permission has been granted. Such requests are made as part of our order form when they are applicable.

Processing time

Orders normally are completed and mailed within five working days of receipt. We will contact you if it will take longer than five working days to process your order.


The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials including, but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Provision of reproductions does not constitute the granting of permission to publish or reproduce material in any form.

Contact Special Collections for information on the copyright status of a particular item and for permission to publish or reproduce materials from our holdings.

Archival materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source, following this pattern: [Name of collection]. Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library, Texas Christian University.

For further information, see our policy regarding research in Special Collections.

  • Last Updated Nov 09, 2022
  • Views 4
  • Answered By Ann Hodges

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