The American Library Association’s basic policies support freedom of research and the unrestricted dissemination of the results of research. The following policies governing the use of archival materials are as liberal as possible considering the needs of scholars, the restrictions imposed by authors, donors, or ALA unit, copyright laws and proprietary rights, the nature of the materials, and the physical preservation of the materials.
Because archival material is not indexed by subject, author or title, use of the record series, box numbers, and folder titles are necessary for the location of material cited. Information on how to cite materials from the Archives can be found in the ALA Archives Citation Guidelines.
The Archives provides one half-hour reference service for inquiries, and up to 20 complementary pages of photocopied materials or 10 complementary pages of scans in the ALA Archives. Any reference work required beyond this must be secured through hiring a research assistant at the current graduate hourly rate of pay, this does not include copying time.
Photocopies and Digital Reproductions
Self-service copying machines are available in the Reading Room at a cost of 20 cents per page. Also, if you are unable to visit the Archives, it is possible for staff to copy requested items. Fees associated with photocopying are detailed in our Fee Schedule.
Users must complete and sign the user application form before copying archival materials. This form provides written assurance that no document will be reproduced without the permission of the writers or their legal representatives and the Executive Director of the American Library Association or the Archivist. Permission to copy will normally be granted upon receipt of such assurance, provided no restrictions against copying the materials are imposed by the writer, the donor, or the American Library Association.
Use of photographic material is subject to the general guidelines of the University of Illinois Archives. Prior to copying audiovisual materials, all persons must complete the agreement form. Costs associated with duplication requests are documented in our Fee Schedule.
Digital Camera Policy
The Archives permits use of personal digital cameras in the Reading Room (but no scanners, tripods, or flash photography are permitted at this time).
Permission to examine or to copy archival material does not convey the right to publish or reproduce the material. Publication privileges may be secured upon the joint authorization of the Executive Director of the American Library Association or the Archivist and the holder of the copyright and, in some instances, the donor of the material. The copyright holders may be the writers, their heirs or assigns, their legal representatives, or the American Library Association. The University of Illinois Archives assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.
Permission to publish will ordinarily be granted by the Executive Director or the Archivist provided that it meets accepted standards of scholarship and written permission is secured from the copyright holder.
Where permission to publish is granted, the applicant agrees a) to indicate in the published work that the original is located in the Archives of the American Library Association; b) to assume full and complete responsibility for any infringement of copyright or literary rights that may grow out of use or publication of the material.