Guidelines and Procedures | Taylor University

Material Access Policy

Collections and materials from the Special Collections and University Archives are available to the Taylor University community, visiting scholars, and the general public (with some restrictions). We are committed to providing open access to our collections to the extent possible within the limits of privacy, confidentiality and preservation.

Restrictions on access to documents in the collections are motivated by the need to balance both access and confidentiality. Although many documents and manuscript collections are open for use, some documents held in SCUA collections are subject to access restrictions. These restrictions may be due to legal implications, at the request of a donor, or may be determined by the SCUA and/or in consultation with the department or office concerned. For some historical collections, access is determined by the University Archivist. In addition, the SCUA reserves the right to restrict the use of files, whether open or restricted, unprocessed, of exceptional value, particularly fragile and/or which may contain confidential elements.

Materials do not circulate and are kept in a secure storage area that is not available for browsing. All documents should be viewed in the Ringenberg Reading Room, unless digital copies are provided or are already available online.

Researchers wishing to access the records by visiting the SCUA should make an appointment by emailing [email protected] or contacting the University Archivist.

Ringenberg Reading Room Policy

SCUA welcomes scholars who wish to engage materials in its collections. The following guidelines enable a safe and secure environment for researchers and collection materials. Use of the Ringenberg Reading Room implies that researchers agree to abide by the Reading Room Policy.

  • Requests to use the Ringenberg Reading Room to access materials in the collection should be made in advance by contacting the
  • Archives (email [email protected] or call 765-998-5520). Appointment requests may be refused.
  • All scholars wishing to use the Reading Room may be asked to show Taylor University identification or government-issued photo identification to RASC staff.
  • Coats, bags, umbrellas and other personal effects must be deposited in the designated place.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • Electronic devices should be silenced and conversations kept to a minimum.
  • Researchers must follow all instructions from SCUA staff.
  • Reading room hours are subject to change without notice due to staff availability.
  • To see the Reproduction and Publication Policy for more information on taking photos when using the Reading Room.
  • Materials should stay on top of the table.
  • Materials should be handled carefully with clean, dry hands; staff will provide gloves, if required.
  • Pencils should be used when taking notes.
  • Do not bend or crease the materials; only acid-free bookmarks may be used to mark a location (available from SCUA staff).
  • Do not mark or write on any material.
  • Do not exert unnecessary pressure on the equipment (for example, leaning an elbow on the equipment, writing notes on paper that is above the equipment, placing a laptop computer on the equipment).
  • Researchers will be allowed to access one box at a time and remove a file from one box at a time. “File Out” cards will be provided so that the folder can be returned to its proper location in the box. The original order of materials and records must be retained.

When available, photocopies of the original material should be used to better preserve the original.

Reproduction and Publication Policy

Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) invites scholars to use materials from its collections. This policy contains guidelines for requesting reproductions and/or publication of material held by the SCUA.

Reproduction Guidelines

SCUA may create and/or authorize researchers to create physical or digital reproductions of material in its collections as a service and convenience to researchers. The researcher is solely responsible for any problem related to copyright as well as personal and/or confidential material. The supply and subsequent use of the reproductions are subject to the following guidelines:

  • All reproduction requests must be approved by the University Archivist or designated staff member. SCUA reserves the right to refuse permission to reproduce any material in its possession. Requests may also be denied due to the fragility of the original material, limited staff availability, the amount of material requested, restrictions placed on the material, and copyright issues.
  • The researcher is solely responsible for determining whether the materials are in the public domain and whether their purpose qualifies as fair use and will be responsible for responding to any claims arising from their use.
    • Public Domain: Researchers may use or publish materials without restriction in the public domain (see chart provided by Cornell University for information on the public domain in the United States).
    • Fair use: United States copyright law contains an exception for fair use of copyrighted materials, which includes the use of copyrighted materials for certain purposes (for example, teaching, scholarship, research). For guidelines on the fair use exception, please refer to the United States Copyright Office.
  • Written permission from the copyright holder will be required in situations where Taylor University does not own the copyright for the material requested.
  • Researcher understands that material in the SCUA may contain personal and/or confidential information that is protected by federal or state regulations governing privacy and/or publicity rights.
  • Reproductions are provided for personal research purposes only and may not be duplicated, distributed or made available to any other person or institution without prior permission. Reproductions may not be provided to another library, collection or archive without the written permission of the SCUA and must be destroyed/deleted when no longer required.
  • Although records are generally provided free of charge as a service to scholars, requests for a large quantity of records or materials to be sent by standard mail may incur charges, which will be determined and communicated by the University Archivist.

Use of personal cameras

  • Researchers may be permitted to use personal cameras to create images of material, subject to the following conditions:
  • All requests must be approved by SCUA staff on a case-by-case basis.
  • All materials should be handled with care and may require assistance from SCUA personnel. Bound volumes may require support from a book stand and no pressure should be applied to the bindings. The material should not be at risk of being damaged by photography. Flash photography is prohibited.
  • Watermark transparencies may be required to indicate the origin of the material.
  • No photographs may be taken of other researchers, staff, visitors, or unauthorized material without the express permission of SCUA staff.
  • SCUA staff reserves the right to refuse requests or revoke photo privileges at any time.

Guidelines for publishing documents

Approval of reproduction does not transfer copyright or proprietary rights, nor does it imply permission to publish or further reproduce the material. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain written permission from the University Archivist for publication purposes, which must include an appropriate citation of SCUA as the owner of the material.

  • As the owner of the physical and digital material in its collections, SCUA reserves the right to grant or deny permission to publish the content of the material in its collections. A written request for permission to publish should be sent in advance to the Academic Archivist and Special Collections Librarian ([email protected]).
  • If the copyright in the material is not owned by Taylor University, written permission from the copyright holder must accompany the request. Copyrighted materials may not be reproduced or published without the written permission of the copyright holder, and sole responsibility for infringement rests with the person requesting permission to publish.
  • Requests for publication permission are considered on a case-by-case basis and charges may be incurred for commercial publication at the discretion of the University Archivist.
  • SCUA Collections material that is published should be credited as “Courtesy of Taylor University Special Collections and Academic Archives”. Where possible, the designated collection and sub-collection of the material should be included, along with the date the material was accessed.

Donations and Gifts Policy

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is grateful to accept donations and transfers that fall within its scope of collection. Due to limited staff and fiscal resources, all gifts are subject to review by the University Archivist and may be refused. If you have questions about a donation, please contact us.

Upon acceptance of a gift, a Deed of Gift must be signed by the donor and the University Archivist specifying the items to be gifted and the terms of the gift, as well as documenting the transfer of ownership from the donor to the University. The SCUA cannot and does not assign values ​​or initiate appraisals for gifts.

We do not accept gifts from:

  • Materials that require excessive space and/or conservation measures, are prohibitively expensive or potentially harmful to the conservation environment and/or other materials;
  • Materials that are in poor condition and cannot be repaired or will require significant remediation;
  • Documents whose donor ownership is questioned or disputed;
  • Excess materials duplicate existing collectible materials;
  • Materials that are not covered by our collection policy;
  • Copies of materials donated to another repository;
  • Permanent loans of equipment whose ownership is not transferred to the University

For on-campus transfers of materials, be sure to indicate the originating department if mailing from campus, or contact us for pickup.

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