Divinity Library

Special Collections


Upon application, Special Collections grants permission to examine its holdings to qualified researchers, according to University Policies on Access and subject to whatever restrictions may have been placed by donors or depositors. We will not grant exclusive rights to examine holdings.

Social Security Numbers

Holdings may contain Social Security numbers. The reader must agree not to record, reproduce, or disclose any Social Security numbers that may be included in requested materials. Failure to comply with this agreement may result in the loss of research privileges at Yale University.


The department will consider requests for the reproduction of its holdings. All reproductions (of whatever nature) are provided for the reader's individual use. We reserve the right to request the return of copies and prohibit the making of duplicate copies from those we furnish.


By granting permission to examine holdings or by supplying a reproduction, we are not authorizing publication. The reader must obtain permission to publish texts and facsimiles from the owners of the copyright, typically the creator or the heirs to his or her estate. The Library will be held blameless for the infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by others.

Special Collections can only grant permission to publish texts or images for which Yale University is the copyright holder. We reserve the right to assess a use fee when granting permission to publish materials for which the University does hold copyright. In giving permission to publish, the Yale University Library does not surrender its own right thereafter to publish the material or to grant permission to others to publish it.

Researchers publishing texts or facsimiles from our holdings should cite Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library as the source. As soon as a work is published, the researcher should present Special Collections with a copy of any publication (except a dissertation) that relies heavily on the department's holdings.


These procedures are intended to provide equitable access to Collection materials in a manner that ensures their preservation. While working in the Special Collections Reading Room, please adhere to directions given by the Reading Room staff and observe the following:

  1. Only registered Readers may have access to Special Collections material. All registered researchers should sign the Special Collections guest log each day.
  2. Registered Readers must have a photo ID available for Special Collections staff to photocopy.
  3. Registered Readers are required to leave all personal property in the area designated for that purpose.
  4. With permission of the archivist, Readers may bring materials for reference into the Reading Room.
  5. Registered Readers must not use pens or indelible pencils, or bring notebooks or other personal papers into the reading room. We permit the use of approved note paper, laptops, cameras, and tape recorders for note taking. Any carrying cases must be left in the area designated for Readers' personal property.
  6. Aside from the materials located on open stacks in the Reading Room, all materials must be paged for researchers by the Special Collections staff.
  7. Readers will submit a call slip for all archival and restricted circulation materials.
  8. Readers may select any open seat in the Reading Room, but at the discretion of the staff, some materials must be used at the reading table closest to the Special Collections staff area.
  9. Readers may have one box or volume at their reading table at a time. Up to ten boxes or volumes will be held for the Reader in the Special Collections staff area.
  10. Because materials are unique and can be fragile, Readers must handle them with great care. They may remove only one folder from a box at a time and they must maintain the original order of the folders in the box and materials in the folder. If materials appear to be misfiled or if there are other questions about the proper handling of materials, please consult a staff member. Materials may not be removed from folders for any reason. No marks may be added or erased, and no tracing or rubbing is permitted. Food and drink are prohibited in the reading room.
  11. Collection materials are non-circulating and may not be removed from the Reading Room for any reason without prior authorization.Readers should rewind any microfilm or audio or videotapes used before returning them to their cases.
  12. When Readers are finished with items, they should return them to the Special Collection staff, who will inspect them. If a Reader plans to return to continue using the material, s/he may ask that the item be held for a limited period of time.
  13. As a courtesy to other Readers, please refrain from loud conversations or transcribing and turn the ring off cell phones. Readers must leave the Reading Room to make or receive telephone calls.
  14. Readers needing reproductions of manuscript and restricted circulation materials should speak with the Special Collections staff. We reserve the right to refuse to reproduce an item when such reproduction might cause injury to it or when donor or copyright holder restrictions apply.
  15. Registered Readers leaving the reading room must show the Special Collection staff laptops, notes or any other materials they are taking with them. We reserve the right to search any notes or belongings.
  16. Registered Readers must sign out in the Special Collection guest book when they leave for the day.

    I have read and understand the Security and Use of Holdings information provided above, and agree to follow the Terms Governing Use and the Reading Room Procedures.

    This file last modified 8/11/10 .
    Please send comments and questions to
    the Divinity Library at Yale University.