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In order to preserve and maintain our unique and historic collections for future users, we have a few guidelines that we request of all our patrons:
- All patrons are asked to fill out a registration card for our records, which is kept on file.
- RBSC materials do not circulate; all materials must be used in the Reading Room, and are to be returned to Reading Room Staff when you are finished with them. We are happy to page materials ahead of time to have them ready for your arrival. We are also happy to hold materials for you over several days of research, once paged.
- All coats, backpacks, bags, etc. are to be left in the reception area on the coat rack. Laptop computers must be removed from their cases for use, and the cases left in the coat rack area as well. Patrons concerned about security for their personal items may request that items be held in the Rare Book Librarian's office as an alternative.
- Pencils must be used at all times when using RBSC materials. Pens are not permitted. Laptops, however, are welcome. RBSC materials are not to be marked in any way.
- Food and drink is absolutely prohibited in the Reading Room.
- Please handle materials carefully; many of our collections are quite fragile. Materials must be kept on Reading Room tables at all times. Book supports are to be used with materials whenever appropriate, at the direction of RBSC staff. Cotton gloves are only required when handling photographic materials.
- Our materials require special care. Photocopying is done by RBSC staff only, at their discretion, for $0.15 per page. Requests for five or less copies are free. We reserve the right to refuse to copy any material. Please see our Photoduplication policy for details.
The following policies and fees for copying materials held by Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University have been established to assure the preservation of the materials, allow reasonable copying by researchers, and provide as much service as possible given limited staff resources. Some materials may be too fragile to be copied. In every case, the decision to copy any item is at the discretion of RBSC staff. RBSC staff provides reference and copying services. Research for patrons outside of the University is done on a case-by-case basis, time permitting, at the discretion of RBSC staff.
- Photocopies. RBSC staff will make photocopies of materials in the collections for researchers working in the reading room for fifteen cents ($0.15) per page. Patrons are not allowed to photocopy materials themselves, as these materials require special handling. Copycards are not accepted; checks under $5.00 are not accepted. Researchers requesting copies by mail or fax will pay twenty cents ($0.20) per page if the total exceeds twenty-five pages. There is a flat fee of $5.00 to cover duplication, postage and handling for photoduplication orders for less than 25 pages. Requests for less than five pages are filled free of charge. Members of the Horatio Alger Society are not subject to these charges. Checks should be made out to Northern Illinois University.
- Photographic reproductions. Rare Books and Special Collections no longer has the ability to produce hard-copy photographic reproductions or negatives. Items in Rare Books and Special Collections can be digitally scanned by the Library's digitization unit. There is no charge for non-profit use in publications or exhibits by non-profit agencies. A copy of all scans remain with Rare Books and Special Collections, and may be added to our digital collections. All images used from Rare Books and Special Collections should bear the credit line, "Rare Books and Special Collections, Northern Illinois University.” In general, Rare Books and Special Collections is not the copyright holder for its materials. It is the responsibility of the patron to adhere to all applicable copyright law when seeking permission to publish.
- Researchers may use digital cameras on site by prior arrangement at the discretion of the Head of Rare Books and Special Collections.
- Scanning/Digital Reproduction. Items in Rare Books and Special Collections can be digitally scanned by the Library's digitization unit to your specifications. There is no charge for non-profit use in publications or exhibits by non-profit agencies. A copy of all scans remain with Rare Books and Special Collections, and may be added to our digital collections. All images used from Rare Books and Special Collections should bear the credit line, "Rare Books and Special Collections, Northern Illinois University.” In general, Rare Books and Special Collections is not the copyright holder for its materials. It is the responsibility of the patron to adhere to all applicable copyright law when seeking permission to publish. Scans requested for exclusive use are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Curator for details.