University Archives and Special Collections
Home Policies & Forms Collections Exhibits Genealogy Resources Research Sources
Visiting the Archives
Access and Use Policies
Reproduction and Publication

Access and Use Policies

Researcher Registration

Because archival records are unique, irreplaceable and often very fragile, we ask that you work with us as our partners in their preservation. Please observe our policies for access to and the use of these records so that we may preserve them for use by the next generation of researchers.

Before materials may be used, visitors must:

  • complete a registration form and provide an acceptable form of identification (Driver's License or university/employer I.D. with photograph);
  • complete the Researcher’s Register; and
  • sign the research registration form, acknowledging your understanding and acceptance of these policies and procedures.

Coats, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, packages, and purses are not permitted in the research area. (They will be stored in the Archives coat closet.)

Researchers may bring only paper and pencils or a laptop computer for personal use in the research area.

Eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited throughout the Library. No food or beverages will be allowed in the research area.

Access to Stacks and Research Areas

The University Archives and Special Collections are closed-stack collections; researchers are not permitted in the stacks area. All materials must be brought to patrons by Archives staff, and must be used in the designated research areas only. No material may be removed from the Archives.

Access to Materials

The Archives subscribes to the standards for access to original research materials adopted by the Society of American Archivists and the Association of College and Research Libraries. Access to certain materials, however, may be restricted by statute, by office of origin, or by the donors. The researcher must assume full responsibility for fulfilling the terms connected with any restricted materials. The Archives also reserves the right to restrict the use of materials which are not arranged and/or which are fragile.

Requesting Materials

Researchers must fill out a call slip for each item requested. Researchers may request up to four books from the Jeffersoniana and Special Collections at one time. To assist the staff in maintaining the original order of the archival collections, researchers are asked to observe the following:

  • Request only one collection at a time and use no more than two boxes at a time. Use one folder from a box at a time.
  • Maintain the existing order of materials within each folder and box. If there is any doubt as to the order or if there is apparent damage, please notify the staff.

Handling Materials

Because they are irreplaceable and often very fragile, archival and special collection materials must be handled with great care. Items must lie flat on the surface of the reading table; nothing should ever be placed on them, or written on them. Notes may be taken with pencil, typewriter, laptop computer, or tape recorder. No pens may be used in the research area.


Jefferson home

The University Archives and Special Collections is a unit of
Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Walnut Street · Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-503-8097 / 215-503-2477

Ask an Archivist
Please send comments about this page to Michael Angelo (
Disclaimer & privacy policy
Copyright ©, Thomas Jefferson University
All rights reserved