Policy UL-SP02 Special Collections Library Special Lending Privilege Code

Main Policy Content

  • Purpose
  • Conditions
  • Cross References


The majority of materials housed in the Special Collections Library are unique and irreplaceable.  The Special Collections Library does not, as a rule, loan materials; they are to be in use in our supervised Reading Rooms during normal hours of operation.

However, in extraordinary circumstances and with special permission from the department head or designee, materials may be loaned.  Requests (in writing) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Please allow sufficient time prior to the requested day of the loan for staff to examine the materials and to make a decision on the request.  We will need to know where the materials are to be used and for what purpose.  Materials must be identified on an item-by-item basis and a specific loan request made for each.


Prior to approving a loan, the patron must agree to the following conditions:

  1. A return date for the materials will be specified.  If an extension is desired, it must be requested in writing prior to the scheduled return date.
  2. Many of the materials are brittle or suffer from other forms of deterioration.  Extreme care must be taken to ensure that the materials do not suffer additional damage.  The borrower is required to use the materials with the same care and consideration that is practiced in the Special Collections Library:
    • No eating, drinking, or smoking around materials.
    • No rearranging documents under any circumstances.  If there are apparent misfilings, report them to the Special Collections staff.
    • Use gloves when handling unsleeved photographs.
    • All who use the documents are expected to have clean hands.
    • No unauthorized copying of materials.
  3. While materials are in the possession of the loan recipient, the person must accept full responsibility for their welfare and take all reasonable measures to protect them.  When not in use, the materials must be stored in a safe or appropriate locked cabinet.
  4. No marks of any kind, for any purpose, may be made on the materials.  Stick-on paper (e.g., Post-it Notes), adhesive tapes, and paper clips or fasteners must not be affixed to the materials.  Prior to the loan, any pre-existing damage to the materials will be noted and a copy of these notes will accompany the materials.  When the materials are returned, they will be inspected again to ensure that they are in the same condition as when they left.  If problems are noted that did not exist prior to the loan, the department head or designee will request an explanation.  The borrower will be charged for all repairs or cost of replacement and will be prohibited from borrowing materials in the future.
  5. Materials must be hand-carried to the Special Collections Library on or before the due date.  Neither campus mail, U.S. mail nor other forms of shipping shall be used to return materials without prior permission.

Please Note:

  • Commonwealth Campus Libraries requests will be accommodated using existing Inter-Campus Loan policies and procedures.
  • Materials requested for loan to exhibit are subject to additional restrictions outlined in the exhibit loan policy.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

UL-SP01 – Using Materials in the Special Collections Library

Effective Date: September 6, 1994
Date Approved: September 6, 1994 (Libraries Academic Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • January 2010 - Editorial
  • July 11, 2006 - Revised to reflect campus reorganization
  • September 6, 1994 – New policy

Last Review Date: January 2010