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User Regulations


Each user must review these regulations and fill out a Reference Use Card on their first visit and on succeeding visits when requested by the Archivist. Completion of the Use Card indicates agreement to these regulations. Users must complete user forms for all collections requiring special approval. The University Archives is not responsible for the safety or security of users’ personal belongings and equipment.


  1. The Archivist may deny access to restricted material or to any users who will not identify themselves or their intended use of the material.
  2.  Requests for boxes and folders from remote locations should be made before 10 a.m. for delivery and use by 9 a.m. the following day. The retrieved material will be kept at the University Archives Research Room not longer than ten working days.


No material will circulate.

Information Service

Information about the Archives’ holdings, the existence of specific material and assistance in using finding aids will be given on request, provided that the time required for the purpose is not excessive. Persons living within the University area ordinarily will be expected to examine material for themselves. Summary information derived from the material will be furnished by mail to those persons who do not have ready access to the Archives, provided that the amount of time for abstracting is not excessive. Staff members will not undertake to interpret such information.

Rules for Use of the Material

  1. Examine material only at the designated place of use. No items may be removed from the Archives Search Room.
  2. Limit use of items to the minimum essential to immediate needs.
  3. Do not:
    • mark on material or erase existing marks;
    • write notes on top of material
    • use ink pens of any sort; use only pencil;
    • make tracings or rubbings;
    • rest books or other objects on the face or surface of items used;
    • touch the surface of loose sheets or book pages if they can be handled by their edges;
    • apply paper clips, fasteners, tape, rubber bands, or “Post-It” notes;
    • eat or drink in the Archives.
  4. Exercise the greatest possible care to prevent damage to all materials and use extreme care in handling fragile items.
  5. Preserve the existing order and arrangement of unbound material and report any disarrangement.
  6. Return all materials to appropriate folders and boxes before leaving.
  7. Personal property should be stored in the lockers located outside the University Archives.
    • Any items brought into the search room, such as laptop cases, books, notebooks, or other personal property, are subject to inspection before leaving.


When scanning will not cause damage to materials, readers may use the public scanning workstation in the Archives.  Within the limits of Copyright Law, users may take non-flash photographs using hand-held devices. Users must exercise care in maintaining the original order and preparing “Out Cards” when removing material for photocopying.  Users request the Archives to arrange for reasonable amounts of specific material to be copied in response to request by phone or mail.  Following completion of a duplication Service Order, all costs shall be paid by the recipient.  The Archivist reserves the right to refuse to allow copying if handling for reproduction would damage the archival material, or if the extent of copying would impose unreasonable administrative burdens.  For photographs, request a copy of the Archives’ Photographic Use Policy.


Permission to use does not include permission to publish.  Before publication of manuscript material in whole or in part, users must obtain advice as to its availability for publication.  The Archives may point users to guidance on “fair use” of copyrighted material, but it assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyright, common law rights in literary property and the laws of libel.  Securing permission to publish quotations from the collection is the responsibility of the researcher.


Please ask for “Recommended Footnote Citations of Material.” Regardless of citation or of copyright ownership, reproductions of all images from the Archives must contain a credit line of “Courtesy University of Illinois Archives” followed by the series/collection name.

Addenda to User Regulations


Revised April 2005; September 2020 William J. Maher, University Archivist