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Reading Room Policies

Guidelines for conducting research in our Reading Room. 


About Reading Room Policies

The Swenson Center strives to be a welcoming and helpful environment. The nature of our materials, however, means that we must take some extra precautions. 

Handle Materials with Care

We ask that you please be careful handling materials, follow all instructions from the staff, and make sure your hands are clean and dry.


Use Pencils

We require the use of pencil (not pen) when working with collection materials.

No Food/Drink

No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room during research. 

Requesting Materials

Requested materials will be retrieved by staff and must be used in the Reading Room. Staff will be happy to help you determine which materials you need.

Keep Materials in their Original Order

It is essential that archival materials, including folders and documents, remain in their original order within the boxes and folders.


You may also use a laptop computer, cellphone or digital camera, note paper, and essential reference books during your visit. If using your camera, please refer to our Camera and Reproduction Use Notice. Generally, these images are for your private study only. It is your responsibility to keep citations of any images and to obtain permission from the copyright holder if you wish to publish from them in the future.

Other Personal Items

Any other material should not be on the table top while working in the Reading Room. Please place other materials, including backpacks, and coats in the coatroom, on the floor, or on a chair. Please clear the use of a larger camera or any recording devices with Swenson Center staff. Please also set your cell phone to mute or vibrate and take any calls to the lobby to avoid disturbing other researchers.

Only Swenson Center-related research is permitted in the Reading Room.

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