Policies & Procedures | Taylor University

Material Access Policy

The collections and materials in the Special Collections and University Archives are available (with some restrictions) to the Taylor University community, visiting scholars, and the general public. We are committed to making our collections freely accessible as much as possible within the framework of privacy, confidentiality and preservation.

Access restrictions to materials in the collections are based on the need to balance access and confidentiality. Although many records and manuscript collections are open for use, there are materials in the SCUA collections that have restricted access. These restrictions may be due to legal implications, donor requests, or may be determined by SCUA and/or in cooperation with the appropriate department or body. For some historical collections, access is determined by the university archivist. In addition, SCUA reserves the right to restrict the use of open or restricted recordings that are unprocessed, of exceptional value, particularly fragile and/or may contain confidential material.

The materials do not circulate and are kept in a secure storage area not available for searching. All materials must be viewed in the Ringenberg reading room unless digital copies are provided or are already available online.

Researchers wishing to access materials by visiting SCUA should make an appointment by emailing [email protected] or contacting the university archivist.

Reading room regulations Ringenberg

SCUA welcomes researchers interested in incorporating materials into their collections. The following guidelines allow for a safe environment for researchers and collection materials. The use of the Ringenberg reading room requires that the researchers adhere to the reading room rules.

  • Applications for the use of the Ringenberg reading room to access the holdings of the collection should be sent to the in advance
  • Archives (email [email protected] or call 765-998-5520). Walk-in requests may be denied.
  • All researchers wishing to use the reading room may be asked to present either a Taylor University ID or government-issued photo ID to RASC staff.
  • Coats, bags, umbrellas and other personal items must be placed in the designated places.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted.
  • Electronic devices should be muted and conversations kept to a minimum.
  • Researchers must follow all instructions from SCUA staff.
  • The opening hours of the reading room are subject to change without prior notice due to staff availability.
  • See the Reproduction and Release Policy for information on taking photos while using the reading room.
  • The materials must remain on the table.
  • Materials must be handled carefully with clean, dry hands; Staff will provide gloves if necessary.
  • Pencils must be used when taking notes.
  • Do not fold or crease materials; Only acid-free bookmarks may be used to mark a place (available from SCUA staff).
  • Do not mark or label materials.
  • Do not apply unnecessary pressure to materials (e.g., resting an elbow on the material, writing notes on paper placed on the material, placing a laptop on the material).
  • Researchers may only access one box at a time and remove one folder from a box at a time. File Out cards will be provided to allow the folder to be placed back in its appropriate place in the box. The original order of materials and folders must be preserved.

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

Reproduction and Release Policy

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

Reproduction Guidelines

SCUA may make physical or digital reproductions of material in its collections and/or permit researchers to make physical or digital reproductions as a service and convenience to researchers. The researcher bears sole responsibility for all issues relating to copyright, personal and/or confidential materials. The provision and subsequent use of reproductions is subject to the following guidelines:

  • All requests for reproduction must be approved by the university archivist or a designee. 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, volume of material requested, materials and copyright issues.
  • Researcher has sole responsibility for determining whether materials are in the public domain and whether their purpose is fair use, and is responsible for responding to any claims arising out of their use.
    • Public Domain: Researchers are free to use or publish materials in the public domain (see the diagram provided by Cornell University for more information on public domain in the United States).
    • Fair Use: United States copyright law provides an exception to the fair use of copyrighted materials, which includes the use of copyrighted materials for specific purposes (e.g., teaching, academic, research). For guidelines on the fair use exception, see United States Copyright Office.
  • In situations where Taylor University does not own the copyright for the requested material, written permission from the copyright owner is required.
  • The researcher understands that the material in the SCUA may contain personal and/or confidential information that is protected by federal or state privacy regulations and/or publicity rights.
  • Reproductions are provided for personal research purposes only and may not be further reproduced, distributed or made available to any other person or institution without prior permission. Reproductions may not be made available to any other library, collection or archive without the written permission of SCUA and should be destroyed/removed when no longer required.
  • Although materials are generally provided free of charge as a service to researchers, requests for larger quantities of materials or sending materials by post may incur charges, which will be determined and communicated by the University Archives.

Use of Personal Cameras

  • Researchers may be permitted to use personal cameras to create images of material under the following conditions:
  • All requests must be approved by SCUA staff on a case-by-case basis.
  • All materials must be handled with care and may require the assistance of SCUA staff. Bound volumes may need to be supported on a book cradle and no pressure applied to the bindings. Material must not be damaged by photography. Flash photography is prohibited.
  • Watermark foils may be required to show 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 employees reserve the right to refuse any request or revoke photo privileges at any time.

Materials Posting Guidelines

Permission to reproduce does not transfer copyright or ownership rights, nor does it imply permission to publish or further reproduce any material. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain written permission from the university archivist for publication purposes, which must include proper attribution to 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 content from material in its collections. A written request for permission to publish must be made in advance to the University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian ([email protected]).
  • If the materials are not copyrighted by Taylor University, the request should be accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner. Copyrighted materials may not be reproduced or published without the written permission of the copyright owner, and full responsibility for any infringement lies with the person requesting permission for publication.
  • Publication requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis; commercial publications may incur fees at the discretion of the university archivist.
  • Material from SCUA collections that is published must be credited as “Courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives at Taylor University”. If possible, the designated collection and sub-collection of the material and the date the material was accessed should be identified.

Donations and Gifts Policy

The Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) gratefully accept donations and transfers that fall within their collection area. Due to limited human and fiscal resources, all donations are subject to review by the university archives and may be rejected. If you have any questions about a donation, please contact us.

When accepting a gift, a deed of gift must be signed by both the donor and the university archivist, detailing the items to be gifted, the terms of the gift, and documenting the transfer of ownership from the donor to the university. SCUA cannot and will not assign value or initiate evaluations for gifts.

We do not accept gifts from:

  • Materials that require space and/or conservation measures that are excessive, costly, or potentially harmful to the conservation environment and/or other materials;
  • Materials that are in poor condition and are either beyond repair or require extensive remedial work;
  • Materials where ownership of the donor is questioned or disputed;
  • Excess materials duplicate existing collection materials;
  • Materials that do not fall within the scope of our Collection Policy;
  • Copies of materials donated to another repository;
  • Permanent loans of materials whose ownership does not pass to the university

For transfers on campus When sending by campus post, please be sure to state the issuing department or contact us to arrange collection.

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