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Zahnow Library - University Archives and Special Collections: Accessing the Archives

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To request an appointment to view materials, please complete the Archives Registration Form.

Catherine Curtis

Anita Dey

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Anita Dey
Library Administration Office
Zahnow Library - Z 425

Access Policy


The Saginaw Valley State University Archives and Special Collections mission is to collect, organize, preserve, provide access to, and promote the use of its rare and unique materials in order to support and encourage the research needs and participation in academic programs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other scholars outside the academic community.   


The University Archives and Special Collections Access Policies are based off the ALA-SAA Joint Statement of Access: Guidelines for Access to Original Research Materials.


I. User Communities 

The Archives makes its resources and services available to Saginaw Valley State University students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. Researchers using archives or manuscript collections must register with the Archives and sign a Visitor Registration Form at each visit. 

II. Limitations on Access 

The Archives may require researchers to use copies of records in place of originals whose physical condition or format makes them unusable. 

III. Intellectual Access 

The Archives facilitates the accessibility of its collections by informing researchers about their existence. This is accomplished through Web sites, finding aids, container lists, inventories, or the assistance of staff members. 

IV. Physical Access 

To protect and ensure the continued accessibility of its collections, all materials must be used in accordance with the regulations of the Archives. 

Visiting the Archives


Archives Viewing Rooms


The University Archives contains unique and irreplaceable records of the history of Saginaw Valley State University. Because of the value and rarity of these materials, special rules for the use of the collection are needed to ensure that these items will continue to be available and in good condition.

  • The University Archives and Special Collections are available by appointment.
  • All researchers wishing to use archival collections must submit a request form prior to visiting.
  • The University Archives collections are held in closed stacks. All University Archives materials must be used in the Archives Viewing Room and do not circulate.
  • Information on the care and handling of materials will be provided to all visitors.

General Guidelines


  • The Archives Viewing Room at Zahnow Library is reserved for use by only those patrons using materials from the archival collections. 
  • Food and drink (including water) are not allowed in the Reading Room 
  • Keep hands clean and dry; place material on clean surface 
  • Do not use staples, adhesive tape, post-its, metal paper clips, ink, thick marking strips or other non-archival material 
  • ONLY PENCILS may be used for note-taking  
  • No documents will be marked, defaced, or mutilated in any way.  
  • Avoid leaning on materials or piling them up, especially in an open position 
  • Do not bend, fold or roll flat material such as maps or other oversize items 
  • Material should be used on a table or other flat, elevated surface; do not put material on the floor or on your lap 
  • No material may be removed from the viewing room.   
  • Notify a staff member should you have any questions about photocopying.

Instructions for Handling Books


  • ​​Staff may present book cradles, which are designed to reduce stress to the book and should sit squarely on the table. Cradles are designed for use by one book at a time. 
  • Do not rest anything on top of books. Never put anything in a book; acid free markers will be provided when needed. Books should be closed if left for any period of time. 
  • Please notify a member of the Reading Room staff if you find damage to paper or bindings which prevents safe handling. All pieces of bindings or paper that break off should be kept with the original material and shown to a staff member. 
  • Use only paper for bookmarks. 
  • Never force open a book with a tight binding. Do not stack opened books or place them face down. 
  •  Turn pages only at their outer edges. 
  • Be aware of the condition of the books you are handling. Even new-looking books can be at risk, e.g., perfect-bound books with pages that are simply glued into the spine and that can easily pop out when roughly handled. 
  • To turn a page of a book, lift the top outer corner and lightly slip the fingertips down the fore-edge, supporting the page. Do not attempt to turn a page while holding something else.

Duplication of Archival Material


Photocopies Patrons who wish to obtain photocopies of materials in Archives and Special Collections must contact staff to submit a request.  Photocopies are intended for personal research only and cannot be published (in print or online) without the written consent of the appropriate copyright holder.
Digital Images Patrons interested in obtaining digital images of materials in Archives and Special Collections adhere to the same policies and restrictions governing photocopy requests.  Digital images are intended for personal research only and cannot be published without consent of the appropriate copyright holders.
Personal Digital Camera Patrons may be allowed to use personal digital cameras to take their own photographs of books and archival materials.  These images are also intended only for personal research use and cannot be published without the consent of the appropriate copyright holders.