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The University of Southampton
Special Collections

Regulations for using Special Collections

For curatorial reasons, special library regulations apply to the use of the collections in the Archives and Manuscripts Rare Books searchroom.

1.  All visits must be made by prior appointment with the reading room staff. On their first visit and in each subsequent calendar year, all readers are required to complete a registration form and produce proof of identity including their permanent address.

2.  All readers are required to complete a formal declaration that they will abide by these regulations and all other regulations for the use of and reproduction of materials held within the Special Collections. In addition, all readers are required to sign the visitors’ register each time they enter and each time they leave the reading room. Signing implies an undertaking to abide by these regulations and all others for the use of and reproduction of materials held within the Special Collections.  Infringement will render a reader liable to exclusion and could result in contractual liabilities.

3.  All coats, umbrellas, bags and briefcases must be left in the lobby. Lockers are available, but all items are left at the risk of the owner.

4.  All work must be done in pencil.

5.  Researchers must do nothing to damage any document, book or object. Any damage or accident must be reported at once to the member of staff in charge.

6.  Documents, books and objects may not be removed from the reading room. 

7.  No eating, drinking or smoking is permitted in the reading room or in the secure Special Collections areas.

8.  The number of documents, books or objects issued at any one time to a reader may be limited. Where a reader is allowed a number of items, they must ensure that the items are kept in their proper order. Readers are required to follow directions given by Library staff for handling items. Fragile material may be withheld.

9.  Readers are required to follow the directions of Library staff for the evacuation of the reading room in the event of fire or other emergency.

10.  No publication right is vested in any reader through the issue of a document, book or object. All publication right is reserved.

11.  Separate regulations apply for photocopying, photography, quotation from and publication of material in the collections.

12.  Researchers are required to supply the Library with a copy of any publication resulting from work on the collections. Copying and photography is done by members of staff.

13.  The University of Southampton operates closed circuit television systems in the reading room and Special Collections areas for the purposes of security and public safety. It is a condition of using the reading room that all readers consent to the use of CCTV images for these purposes.

14.  The Librarian may exclude or cause to be removed any person who contravenes these regulations or whose exclusion from the reading room is, in their opinion, necessary for its proper use and regulation


Reprographics service

Researchers are not permitted to take their own copies of the archive and manuscript and rare book collections. A reprographics service is provided which offers copies and digital photographs of material, subject to certain regulations.

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