Because special collections materials are rare, unique, and usually irreplaceable, they are subject to a higher level of security than other library materials. Therefore, special collections materials can only be used in a secure reading room under the supervision of repository staff, and cannot be checked out. Accordingly, researchers must register to be a special collections researcher, and check in and out each time they visit a special collections reading room. Registering as a special collections user also allows you to conveniently request materials online before your visit.
All researchers using collection material in the secure environment of one of Yale University Library's special collections reading rooms must agree to the terms, conditions, and guidelines specified in the Yale University Library User Agreement for Special Collections as a condition for access to Yale's special collections. The agreement language, supplied for consultation in a separate box in the right-hand column, is an integral part of the special collections registration process. Researchers with a valid Yale NetID can use Yale’s Central Authentication Service (CAS) to register online and create a special collections account. All other researchers must provide a valid email address in order to complete this registration/account-creation process. Without exception, researchers must complete the online registration process before any access to special collections materials will be provided.
In addition to assenting to the user agreement, the following are required the first time you come in person to a Yale University Library special collections reading room in order to complete the registration process to access collection material:
Supply ONE of the following:
Supply the following:
AND ONE verification document containing your name and issued by a school, agency, or corporate body.
Once your registration is completed you can be signed into any Yale University Library special collections reading room without presenting an ID each time.
Your special collections account information will need to be updated and your current photograph re-taken annually.
Yale's special collections units are currently working to develop a single common online registration system for researchers.
For information on registering at other Yale special collections units, please click on one of the following links:
The Yale University Library (YUL) exists to preserve the heritage of the past and to make it available to researchers. These terms govern use of our holdings whether in original form or as surrogates. Original materials in our holdings are non-circulating and must be used in a controlled reading room environment. Upon registration, the Yale University Library grants permission to examine its holdings to qualified researchers, subject to restrictions that may have been placed by donors or depositors. We will not grant exclusive rights to examine holdings.
As a researcher using Yale’s unique and irreplaceable collections you are responsible for adhering to terms of this agreement. Failure to do so may result in loss of access privileges for Yale University Library’s special collections. This agreement is a legal contract between you and Yale University that permits your use of special collections materials. The agreement is organized into five sections:
I. Non-disclosure Agreement
Social Security Numbers: Holdings may contain Social Security numbers. The researcher agrees not to record, reproduce, or disclose any Social Security numbers that may be included in requested materials.
Privacy and Publicity Rights: Privacy and publicity rights reflect separate and distinct interests from copyright interests. Neither privacy nor publicity rights are the subject of federal law. While fair use is a defense to copyright infringement, fair use is not a defense to claims of violation of privacy or publicity rights. Privacy and publicity rights are the subject of state laws. What may be permitted in one state may not be permitted in another. Note also that related causes of action may be pursued under the federal Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (a), for example, for unauthorized uses of a person's identity in order to create a false endorsement. While an individual's right to privacy generally ends when the individual dies, publicity rights associated with the commercial value connected with an individual's name, image or voice may continue.* Researchers bear the responsibility of making individualized determinations as to whether privacy and publicity rights are implicated by the nature of the materials and how they use such materials.
* For additional information on Privacy and Publicity rights see the Library of Congress website.
II. Reproductions and Copyright
Researchers are permitted to use their personal cameras to take images for their private study, and agree to adhere to the following stipulations in the use of their personal cameras:
Researchers are responsible for keeping complete and accurate citations (call numbers, accession numbers, ID numbers, page numbers, and box and folder numbers) for all items photographed for personal research use. Subsequent requests for high-resolution reproductions for publication cannot be processed without accurate citation information.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of all reproductions of copyrighted material, regardless of who makes the reproductions. Libraries and archives are authorized to provide a photocopy or reproduction for private study, scholarship, or research. For collection materials that are not in the public domain in the United States, researchers may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce except for teaching and scholarship, create new works from, distribute, publically perform or display, or in any way exploit any of the content in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright holder. Researchers making use of any copies in excess of the "fair use" exception may be liable for copyright infringement.
YUL special collections provides fee-based reproduction services for collection material based on the following stipulations:
III. Publication Permissions
In granting permission to examine holdings or providing reproductions for personal use, YUL is not authorizing publication. The researcher is solely responsible for investigating the holder of the copyright (if any) and obtaining permission from the copyright holder for publication of copyrighted material. The researcher indemnifies and holds the Yale University Library harmless for any infringement of intellectual property rights held by others. In all cases, the researcher must cite the appropriate collection at YUL as the source.
Except in a few special circumstances, Yale University does not own the copyright to most of the materials in its special collections. YUL can only grant permission to publish those holdings for which Yale University is unambiguously the copyright holder. We reserve the right to assess a use fee when granting permission to publish materials for which Yale University does hold copyright. By granting permission to publish, YUL does not surrender its own right thereafter to publish the material or to grant permission to others to publish it. As soon as a work is published, please present the appropriate special collections library with a copy of any publication (except a dissertation) that relies heavily on the library’s holdings.
For protection of the materials, security devices, such as CCTV, still cameras, and alarms, are in use in special collections reading rooms at the Yale University Library. Video records are maintained as long as is necessary. Members of YUL Security and Yale University Police routinely patrol all areas of the Library. You may be asked to provide identification at any time.
V. Terms and Conditions for In-Person Use of Materials in a Special Collections Reading Room
Each special collections reading room at Yale University may have additional policies and procedures that apply locally. These must be adhered to in addition to the following general rules: