Reading Room Rules

Nearly all Special Collections materials can be accessed in the Arthur Porter Reading Room for research use. Be prepared with research questions and an idea of the collections you want to use when coming into the reading room. These restrictions listed below are not designed to impede use, but to provide long term access to materials. Advanced appointments are welcome.

To bring a group or class in for an orientation or formal visit, please schedule with us in advance.

Ricks ClassArthur Porter Reading Room Research Policies and Guidelines

  • Use finding aids or the online catalog to identify materials of interest.
  • In the reading room, provide picture identification to the attendant and fill out a materials request slip (available at the front desk).
  • Food and beverages are prohibited in the reading room.
  • Leave bags, cases, or other containers with the attendant.
  • You will be allowed only pencil and loose paper and/or a laptop or similar electronic device when you access materials. Pens and markers are prohibited.
  • Up to three books may by requested at one time, but only one document box per request. Special Collection materials do not leave the reading room and do not circulate.
  • Please refrain from using cell phones to call while in the reading room.
  • Ask the attendant for duplications. Copies and scans are made by Special Collections staff only. Reproductions are made within the limits of applicable United States law and only when such action will not harm materials. Cameras without the flash may be used after attendant approval.
  • Please preserve the order of unbound material as no attempt should be made to reorder or rearrange the materials. When pulling manuscript materials out of the box, ensure you mark where the papers or files came from in the box.
  • Take care when handling fragile items or items in unique formats and leave items flat on the table while examining. As needed, white gloves will be provided by the attendant for handling photographs. If there is any sign of damage to materials, please inform staff.
  • Permission to publish, wholly or in part, from manuscript collections or photographs or to broadcast or perform for profit any recording or videotape, other than fair use excerpts as specified in the copyright law, must be sought in writing from BYU-Idaho Special Collections. Researchers are responsible for securing permission to publish from materials under copyright.
  • Cite the full name of the collection and of the institution as the source of manuscripts or photographs used in published or unpublished works.