Southern Methodist University
DeGolyer Library
About us
Contact us
Search Catalog
Digital Collections

Use of Library Materials

Library materials may be used only in the reading room. No item will be circulated or used elsewhere for research under any circumstances. Use of materials from the collections are subject to carefully observed security designed to balance the needs of readers with the protection of materials.

Only pencil and paper are allowed in the reading room.

Individual lockers and a coat rack are available for the convenience of all readers who will be required to deposit cellphones, cameras, briefcases, backpacks, purses, coats, and other personal property not essential to their work in the reading room. Personal books and papers taken into the reading room are subject to examination upon departure.

Readers need to complete a charge slip for each item they wish to use and turn it in at the library's front desk to be paged. All material must be returned to the front desk at the end of each use. A limited number of items may be placed on hold for use in the immediate future or for regular return visitors over a short period of time.

Reader's Responsibilities

Readers are expected to abide by the rules governing the use of materials in the DeGolyer Library. Only pencils may be used in the reading room; pens, high-lighters, or indelible writing instruments are prohibited.

All materials must be handled with great care. Readers who are careless will be denied further access to the collections. The Application for Use form details the regulations governing the use of printed, microfilm, photograph, and manuscript material. In signing this form the reader agrees to abide by the guidelines governing use of DeGolyer Library material.

The library staff is always willing to assist readers, and will demonstrate to newcomers the safe and proper handling of materials.

Use of Manuscripts and Photographs

Readers desiring to use manuscripts or photographs are required to give full information about the nature of their research in the Application for Use form. Each request is carefully reviewed before approval can be granted. Some manuscripts and oral history transcripts are restricted from general use by the terms of acquisition until a future specified time. The library will not reserve manuscripts for the exclusive use of one reader.

In most instances, the DeGolyer Library owns only the physical manuscripts in its collections, not the literary rights or copyright associated with the papers. In order to protect these rights, the use of manuscripts in the library is carefully regulated. The term manuscript is taken here to mean any written material in its pre-publication form, including works, letters, documents, proofs, inscriptions, or other typed or holograph material, whether published or unpublished.

Photocopies, microfilms, and photographic copies of selected manuscripts and photographs can be prepared upon request (see Fee Schedule). Permission must be obtained from the library in writing before such materials can be quoted in publications or reproduced for commercial use. Requests for copying extensive amounts of manuscript material will not be approved.

Services for Readers

Members of the staff are prepared and willing to consult with readers about their research needs. Because the staff is familiar with the particular strengths of the collections, they are able to make suggestions to users about materials that may meet the researcher's interests. These suggestions may include the identification of other repositories and sources of information that may provide what the reader needs to find.

All photocopy requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis to ensure that copying will not damage original materials. Any reader ordering photocopies agrees to assume all responsibility for infraction of copyright regulations, or for any liability caused by invasion of privacy, and to hold harmless and indemnify the Central University Libraries of Southern Methodist University, and their agents, representatives, and employees in connection with any legal action that may arise as a consequence of the photocopying. Each reader agrees not to give photocopies to any other individual or institution.

Image: Robert Benecke. Bison heads. Photograph, ca.1870. Ag1982.0086.0060

Quick links:

Application for Use

Photographic Reproduction Policy

Fee Schedule

Finding aids online

Research travel grants

CUL Home Library Catalog SMU Home