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Virginia State University Special Collections and Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

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Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

A Few things to Know Before Your Visit
1.) No Smoking, eating (gum and candy included), or drinking is permitted in the Reading Rooms.

2.) Flash photography and personal scanners are not permitted.

3.) All briefcases, bags, and personal effects not essential to work must be stored in a place designated for that purpose.

4.) Cell phones must be turned off or in silent (no vibrate) mode at all times.

5.) Notes must be taken with pencil, tape recorder, laptop, or typewriter. Ink pens of any kind may not be used.

6.) Papers are in an established order. If each item in a folder is turned like a page, the existing order in the folder will be preserved. Please notify a staff member if any pages are apparently misfiled.

7.) All responsibility for securing permissions to publish from unpublished manuscripts in which literary property rights are retained is assumed by the user of the material.

Other Regulations
1.) When you arrive you will be asked to sign in and fill out an application for research which will be valid for one year.
You will be asked to state your home address and phone number, purpose for research, materials desired on this form.

2.) A form of ID (student, faculty, military, driver’s license, passport, etc.) is required.

3.) Materials may be photocopied at the discretion of the archivists.
Archivists will determine what may or may not be photocopied. An archivist will make the copies for patrons.

4.) Please keep materials flat on the worktable. Do not hold items up to read in your hands or in your lap.  Do lean or write on the materials

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1.) What are your hours?
We are open to researchers Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except on National and State holidays, and the week between Christmas Eve and New Years Day (Dec. 24-Jan.1). Please see the "Hours" information Box under the Home tab in this Libguide for more information.

2.) Where are you located?
We are located in Lindsay-Montague Hall on VSU’s campus. We are next to Virginia Hall and the President’s Residence, and across from Byrd, Trinkle, and Eggleston Halls, at the intersection of Hayden St. and Hayden Dr.

3.) What should I know before I visit?
Please go to the VSU Police department on Carter G. Woodson Drive to obtain a parking pass. Tell them you are doing research at Lindsay-Montague Hall and they will direct you where to park. When you arrive at the archives, please be prepared to fill out a short application for research and to show a picture ID. Special Collections is closed stacks, which means you must request materials for use from the archivists. You will be asked to fill out call slips for the materials you wish to use. Only loose paper, pencils, laptops, and typewriters are permitted in the reading room. No bags, envelopes, folders, scanners, flash cameras, or containers of any type are permitted. Please leave these in your car or at home.

4.) How do I find materials in the collection?
Manuscript material may be found via Finding Aid. Some of these are available on-line. All collections have a finding aid, however some are only available in paper format at this time. If you do not see the finding aid you want online, please email the archives and an electronic copy may be available to email to you before you visit. Rare Books, journals, and magazines in our Special Collections can be found using VSU’s library catalog TROY.

You will be asked to fill out a retrieval slip which will include your name, date, and the materials you wish to see. A staff member will retrieve requested materials from the stacks.

5.) Can I check materials out?
No. Materials in Special Collections and Archives do not circulate. All materials must be used in the Reading Room under the supervision of a staff member.

6.) Can I access my relative's transcripts?
We have a small number of older transcripts in our holdings. Transcripts are protected by FERPA- the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. For privacy reasons, we are unable to release transcripts to persons other than the transcript subject for 100 years after their last active date. As of 2014, transcripts from 1915-present are closed records, while transcripts from 1882-1914 are open. Please keep in mind, some transcripts, or information on transcripts such as social security numbers, can never be released for privacy  and security reasons.

7.) Can I make copies?
Yes and no. The archivist will determine which materials may be copied, and will make the copies for you. Occasionally, books, papers, and photographs are too fragile, faded, or are bound in a way which makes photocopying impossible.
If photocopying is desired please do not remove items from the folder. A staff member will instruct you how to note which items to copy.
Please note that turn around time can take up to up to 20 business days from the time the request is received to the time the finished request is mailed depending on the size. Due to the limited size of our staff, there are no rush services available.

Some items may be photographed for personal research use only using a camera without flash. You will be asked to sign a release agreement form if you wish to take photographs of materials in the archives.

8.) Do you scan items?
Many items can be scanned. Please note that for scanning services the turn-around time can take up to 30 business days. Due to limitations with our e-mail client, we are unable to e-mail scanned items. They will be mailed on a CD to the address provided by the patron. Please note that if you elect to have items scanned, a CD to store the scans must be purchased from VSU to protect our computers against viruses. Due to the limited size of our staff, rush services are not available.

9.) Do you have photograph duplication services?
We do not currently offer photograph duplication services. Photographs can be either photocopied or a scan can be made.

10.) Is there a cost to use the archives?
There is no cost to use the archives for research. There is a nominal per-page fee to make photocopies and a per-scan fee for scanned items. Further information on pricing will be available soon.

11.) Where can I park?
Please visit the Police Department on campus to be issued a visitors parking pass. The officer will instruct you as to the lot in which you should park.