Rules for Access and Use

The Gotlieb Center Reading Room

  • Personal items, such as bags, briefcases, coats, folders, etc. are not allowed in the reading room and will be secured in a locked cabinet.
  • Food and drinks, including water, must be left outside the reading room.
  • Please silence all personal electronic devices. Mobile phone use is not permitted in the reading room; phone calls can be taken in the outer lobby if necessary.
  • All books, notebooks and similar materials are subject to examination by staff upon your entrance and prior to exit.
  • Laptop computers, tablet devices, and silenced mobile phones are permitted.
  • Pencils only may be used for taking notes; pens, markers and other permanent forms of writing implements are not allowed in the reading room.
  • Be advised the reading room is under constant video surveillance.
  • If you have any questions, please see the attendant located in the reading room.

Use of Manuscripts & Rare Books

  • All access for research is by appointment only. Information on research times and procedures for requesting appointments will be posted on the Gotlieb Center’s website.
  • All visitors will abide by the Boston University Libraries Code of Conduct, as well as these Rules for Access & Use.
  • On arrival at the Mugar Memorial Library, researchers will present a valid photo ID at the front desk to gain access to the building.
  • We reserve the right to restrict access to any collection, in whole or in part.
  • Requests for boxes of archival material must be made in advance of each visit. Following check-in, an archivist will bring researchers their specified boxes. A maximum of six boxes may be requested at a time.
  • Please wash your hands (preferably with soap containing no perfumes) and dry them before handling archival material. Archival staff will supply gloves for you to use when handling photographs and fragile materials.
  • Additional archival material will be retrieved once a day, in the afternoon, provided it is stored onsite. The Gotlieb Center is not able to provide access to material stored off-site.
  • Only one box of material may be open and on the table at any time.
  • Only one folder may be taken from each box at a time with original order of folders maintained.


NOTICE concerning copyright restrictions: Except in limited cases, the Gotlieb Center does not hold copyright to its materials and cannot grant copyright permission. Accordingly, researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any materials they wish to use and obtaining any needed permission for their intended use. If the material is copyrighted, permission to publish materials which do not qualify as “fair use” under the copyright law of the U.S. (Title 17, US Code) should be sought from the copyright owner, typically the creator or the heirs to the creator’s estate. Researchers are solely responsible for determining whether their use of the materials constitutes a fair use. Researchers agree to defend and hold harmless Trustees of Boston University, its trustees, officers, employees and agents against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising from or relating to their use of the Gotlieb Center materials in violation of the terms of this agreement including claims of copyright infringement, defamation, libel, or invasion of privacy.

Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17): The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a patron makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that patron may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

  • A limited number of reproductions of archival material may be produced by staff members in accordance with our guidelines stated on the Photocopy Request Form. A maximum of 150 pages of copies per research project can be reproduced per fiscal year.
  • High-resolution scans can be made by archival staff for $25 per image.
  • Archival staff have the discretion not to produce reproductions of an item depending on the fragility of the material, donor agreement, and in accordance with current copyright status.
  • We can only accept credit cards for reproduction payments. Payment must be made before reproductions will be produced. Completion of reproduction requests is dependent on staff availability and may take several weeks.

Rules Governing Photography of Archival Material

  • Researchers who visit the Gotlieb Center may use personal cameras to photograph materials for personal use in research. Researchers must show an archivist the materials they intend to photograph prior to using their cameras. In some cases, copyright law or other restrictions may prohibit the use of cameras. Professional video equipment is not allowed in the reading room. Cameras will not be provided for researchers. No flatbed scanners may be used.
  • Researchers will flag materials they intend to photograph with acid-free strips. Archivists must review and approve flagged material before photographs are taken.
  • Researchers must turn off their flash and silence any camera sounds. Researchers’ photography may not disturb other researchers present in the room. Researchers must remain behind the table, facing forward at all times. No rearrangement of furniture is allowed, nor is standing on tables or chairs. No copy stands, tripods, cords, or other supplementary equipment is allowed.
  • Material being photographed must stay flat on the table. Items may not be held in the air, put on the floor, folded, removed from protective sleeves, or have fasteners removed. Do not press down on materials or bound volumes; book cradles will be provided. Loose materials must stay in their folder and in order at all times. No photography of the reading room, other researchers, or staff is allowed.
  • The number of photographs allowed is limited to 150 images. Photographs are meant to alleviate photocopying and supplement note taking, not to create a complete personal copy. No entire book, manuscript box of material, or collection, nor substantial portions of them may be photographed.
  • Researchers are responsible for including the Gotlieb Center citation/copyright template in each shot with each page or item; every image must bear the template.
  • Orders for high-resolution images can be placed with archival staff. Any subsequent orders for high-resolution images must include complete citations.
  • The Gotlieb Center reserves the right to revoke a researcher’s camera privileges, or to refuse a request to photograph material.

Publishing & Permissions

  • Researchers are solely responsible for securing any applicable rights and permissions from any designated copyright holders prior to publication in any format. Please be aware that while the Gotlieb Center is the repository of the material, in most cases we do not hold the copyright or intellectual property rights to that material.
  • In allowing researcher access to archival collections, Boston University does not surrender its own rights to the material (if any), nor does Boston University assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright laws or of publication rights for the manuscript held by the donor; the donor’s heirs; or the donor’s executors or assignees.


In all cases of publication or use, the manuscript(s) or photograph(s) shall be cited as follows:

From the [collection name] Collection, Boston University Libraries, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center