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Special Collections: Access & Procedures

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Access & Reading Room Procedures

Library users wishing to access material in this collection are requested to make an appointment with the Special Collections Librarian by completing the online Materials Request Form, or the Class Visit Request Form.


Special Collections is non-circulating, therefore, all research is conducted in the Reading Room.  Alternative arrangements may be required for class bookings (see Class Visits).

The Archives & Special Collections and Reading Room is located on the main (3rd) floor of the VIU Library (just past the Service Desk). 


Researchers (faculty, staff, and students), visiting scholars, and members of the general public are welcome to consult material in this collection.  While doing so, please follow the Reading Room Procedures:


1.  Researchers are requested to make an appointment to access Special Collections material.

     SC is available for  appointments, Monday-Friday, 10:00 - 4:00.


2.  All research is to be completed in the Reading Room adjacent to the Special

     Collections vault.  Usage of this room is monitored and access to the vault, where the

     collection is stored, is not permitted.


3. Pencil & paper or laptops may be used for note taking in the Reading Room. Wireless

    access is available to VIU community users; otherwise, electrical and internet outlets are

    available around the room’s perimeter.


4.  Researchers and staff may be required to wear gloves (provided) when handling rare

     or fragile material.


5.  Please leave all food, drinks, clothing (e.g. coats), purses, briefcases, backpacks, envelopes,

     parcels, containers, and other belongings (not required for note taking) in the Reading

     Room lockers, away from the work tables.


6.  Care must be taken when handling Special Collections material: the existing order

     of material within folders and boxes must be maintained.  Materials should not be marked,

     removed, added to, or damaged in any way. 


7.  Digital photography may be used (without a flash) to make copies for personal use.

     Please obtain prior permission. Some material may need book cradles or weights to

     position them to prevent damage during this process, while others may be too delicate

     or fragile for photographing. Photo-reproduction services are not currently available.


8.  Access and photographs of material are for personal/research use and does not imply

     copyright permission for publication or performance of the material.