Reading Room Guidelines

The following use policies have been established to provide public access to our collections while maintaining archival standards to protect the collection. Users who violate the guidelines for use may be denied access to the collections. If you need assistance or have a question about these use guidelines, please see the staff person on duty, call the department (615-322-2807), or contact us.


No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room.

Smoking is prohibited.

Only pencils may be used. Ink, ballpoint pens, indelible pencils, and typewriter correction fluid are prohibited to avoid damage to materials.

Computer laptops may be used, however electric outlets are limited. Users are advised to use battery packs.

No portable scanners, cameras, photographic equipment, or electronic recording devices are permitted.

Cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices must be turned off to avoid disturbing other researchers.

The researcher is responsible for the careful handling of all materials made available. Extra care should be taken in handling large volumes, brittle pages, and in opening folded plates and maps. Manuscripts and books may not be leaned on, written on, altered, folded, traced over, or otherwise handled in any way that may damage them. Book weights to hold pages open are available from the Reading Room staff.

Materials may not be removed from the Reading Room.

Manuscripts and archives are to be maintained in the order in which they are received by the researcher. Material discovered to be out of order should be brought to the attention of the staff member on duty.

Use only one box at a time. Remove only one folder from a box at a time. Do not remove individual items from a folder, even if you want to request a photocopy of the item. If you wish to request a photocopy, mark the item to be copied with a marker available from the staff member on duty. Place the folder with it's marker on top of the box from which it was taken.

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