Access and Use Policy

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Policy on Access and Use of Manuscripts and other Special or Rare Materials in Victoria University Library

Welcome to the E.J. Pratt Library. We require at least 2 weekdays' notice in order to retrieve special collections materials, particularly manuscript collections. Special collections can be used from Monday to Friday from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm each day. Rare Book Retrievals take place at 11am and 3pm Monday-Friday.

  1. Researchers wishing to use manuscript materials are required to complete an Application for the Use of Special Collections and provide information about the purpose of the research being undertaken. We require one piece of identification, preferably a photo ID, to be shown prior to using special collections material.
  2. While researchers are present, the Special Collections Reading Room is exclusively for the use of materials from special collections. The room is locked from the outside for security reasons and to ensure researchers remain undisturbed. Manuscript files and rare books must be returned to the reference desk should researchers need to leave the room, even briefly. Closed Circuit Television surveillance is in operation in this area.
  3. Facsimiles (microfilm, etc.) of some materials may be provided, when available, unless an inquiry can be satisfied only by the original document.
  4. For the protection and preservation of the material, gloves may be required for the use of some special collections materials and will be provided by the library.
  5. Only pencils may be used by those consulting special collections materials. Library staff will provide a pencil if one is needed. The use of laptop computers is encouraged. Power sources are provided under the table in the special collections reading room. Wireless access is also available.
  6. Hand–held scanners and digital/film cameras are permitted for copying special collections materials if library staff determines that the condition of the material will allow this and provided that permission has been obtained from library staff.
  7. The Library is unable to conduct extended research in response to requests which require an unreasonable amount of time with respect to the priorities of the Library. Library staff cannot provide evaluative or interpretive research, or information about collections (other than clarification or general information) beyond what is already available in the Library’s finding aids. Researchers wishing to use large quantities of manuscript material should plan to conduct research on-site (please see Reproduction of Victoria University Library’s Special Collections Materials and Price Schedule for the Library’s policy on photocopying and other means of reproducing special collections materials).
  8. The Library encourages the proper use and publication of manuscripts and research materials in its possession. When possible, researchers will be informed of parallel research by other individuals using the same or related materials.
  9. Please see Reproduction of Victoria University Library’s Special Collections Materials and Price Schedule regarding the duplication of special collections materials through photocopy, photography or digital scanning and fees for this.
  10. Providing access to collections or photo duplication of collection materials does not include or imply permission to use the materials in a publication, broadcast or performance. For permission to use materials in a publication, broadcast or performance, written application must be made to the Librarian using the Permission to Publish and Associated Fees form.

Last updated: November 21, 2023