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Access & use
The Archives and Special Collections is a non-circulating, closed stacks collection. We are open to all qualified researchers, regardless of institutional affiliation. Patrons must complete a patron registration form, present a valid photo ID, and agree to follow the department's Terms of Access and Use in order to use the collection.
Some material is stored at a remote location and must be requested 24 hours in advance. For those researchers unable to visit, a limited number of photocopies may be made available for research use, as physical condition, access restrictions and staffing permit. Material in the Archives and Special Collections is not normally available through Inter-Library Loan.
The department follows the Guidelines Regarding Security and Theft in Special Collections developed by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries.
We also adhere to the Guidelines for Access to Original Research Materials, a joint statement of the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists.
Patrons who wish to obtain photocopies of materials in Archives and Special Collections must submit a written request with complete details about material to be copied. Photocopies are intended for personal research only and cannot be published (in print or online) without the written consent of the Archives and Special Collections as well as the appropriate copyright holder.
All photocopy requests must be reviewed by Archives staff. Some materials are too physically fragile to withstand photocopying.
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 the written consent of the Archives and Special Collections as well as the appropriate copyright holders.
Personal Digital Cameras
Patrons may be allowed to use personal digital cameras to take their own photographs of books and archival materials. Just as with photocopies and digital images, patrons must obtain permission from the Archives staff prior to shooting any digital images. These images are also intended only for personal research use and cannot be published without appropriate permissions.
Audio and Video Recordings
Patrons interested in making audio or video recordings of materials held by Archives and Special Collections should contact the Archives staff well in advance.
Photocopies: Amherst College community $0.15 per page; all others $0.25 per page
Digital images: $5.00 per image
Postal orders: $5.00 handling and postage surcharge
We do not charge any use fees for non-commercial use of materials held by the Archives and Special Collections. All commercial use fees are for one-time, non-exclusive use in the body of print publications. Reuse in a new edition is considered a separate use and is subject to an additional fee. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections for additional detail on commercial use fees.
Public Domain Materials: We do not charge any fees or claim any control over material in our collections for which copyright has expired.
Although we do not charge publication fees for non-commercial use of our material, we require all patrons to notify the Archives prior to publication of any material held in our collections. In some few instances, Amherst College holds the copyright for materials in our collections. Otherwise, it is the patron's responsibility to obtain permission from the appropriate copyright holder. The WATCH File, maintained by the University of Texas at Austin, is a valuable tool for identifying copyright holders.