Answered By: Stephen Harding
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2020     Views: 3

The materials held in Special Collections can be fragile, of considerable age, and sometimes very rare or even unique. We ask for your help in trying to preserve our collections by taking care when using them. Our guidelines are:

  • Use only pencil (or laptop) for taking notes- this is because ink pens can cause damage to archives and rare books
  • Place bags and coats in the reading room lockers
  • Ensure your hands are clean
  • Handle items with care: avoid placing spines and bindings under stress and avoid leaning or resting on items. We will show you how to use book rests and chain weights if you have a particularly fragile item
  • If you have ordered a whole box of archive documents, please keep loose items in the correct order, and with the right box or packet
  • Where present, re-tie tapes around books after use
  • You can photograph items in the reading room, but please complete a copyright form to confirm that the photographs are for you own personal research (you can ask for a form from the member of staff on duty in the reading room)
  • If you find a book with pages which are stuck together, please don’t cut or tear it - seek advice from the member of staff on duty
  • If you are not sure about anything please ask, we are always happy to help!

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