Rules of Use

The Library collections are available for research use, subject to the following rules:

  1. Researchers wishing to use material from the manuscript or special collections must complete the “Request for Access” form, show proper identification, and sign the “Use of Archives” form.
  2. Library material does not circulate. Researchers may not remove any material from the reading room for any reason.
  3. Researchers are strictly prohibited from eating, drinking, & smoking in all areas of the Library.
  4. Manuscript and Special Collections material must be handled with great care. USE PENCIL ONLY. Researchers are prohibited to use pens, highlighters, or indelible pencils, as these tools can permanently stain documents.
  5. Researchers will be given one box at a time and are expected to work with one folder at a time. Researchers are cautioned not to disturb the existing order of the papers, even if there is no apparent order. Material in transparent enclosures is to be read through the enclosure; they are not to be removed. Researchers may not make any marks or notations on the papers, fold them, paper clip them, reorder them, or write on top of them. Books in protective boxes should be opened carefully and returned to the box when finished.
  6. Should the researcher leave the area, however briefly, return the folder to the box, and return the material to a Library staff member.
  7. Researchers must return all materials to the reference desk upon completion of their studies. Those who have not completed their research must still return their materials by 3:45 p.m. daily. Please indicate to the Librarian or Archivist whether you will be returning to use the material the next day.


Copy services are available for a fee, and in most cases must be done by a Library staff member. Copies will be done as staff time is available, which may involve shipment of materials. When copies are requested, mark the material with a copy slip, but do not remove the items from their folders. Permission must be obtained for the use of personal cameras or copy equipment. The Head Librarian reserves the right to refuse to copy material if they feel that the material might be damaged by the process, or for other reasons in the best interest of the Library.


Permission to examine manuscripts is not an authorization to publish them. To the extent that it may properly do so, the Museum will ordinarily grant the usual publication rights to qualified applicants. Researchers who plan eventual publication rights of their work are urged to make inquiry concerning overall restrictions on publication before beginning their research. If permission to publish is granted, the location of the cited material shall be indicated in the published work. A free copy of all publications that rely heavily on the Collection’s holdings shall be presented to the Library as soon as the work is published. For information regarding the publication of images from the Delaware Art Museum see the Rights and Reproductions section of this Website.