Research Policies

Those interested in conducting research at the Rosenbach should review the following carefully. These sections explain general policies, access, security measures, and handling of materials, and publication rights. Please note that the Rosenbach maintains an active program of onsite exhibitions and loans to other institutions so that some materials may be temporarily unavailable to researchers.

Information for Researchers

The reading room hours allow the Rosenbach to best serve all researchers by preparing the reading room and the requested materials in advance of each visit. Accordingly, the reading room may not be occupied before, between, or after sessions.


Researchers are required to produce photo identification on their first visit to the Library. This may take the form of an institutional identification card, a driver’s license, or passport. Researchers will be asked to complete a form indicating the topic of and goals for their research.


Use of materials in the collection is subject to carefully observed security measures designed to balance the needs of the researcher with the protection of the material. Briefcases, purses, computer cases, etc., are not permitted in the reading room. (Lockers are available for use during the day.) Books are permitted only by special arrangement. Books and papers brought in by researchers may be inspected by staff before leaving the reading room. Researchers are given only limited amounts of material at any one time. Researchers’ personal property – suitcases, computers, etc. – may not be left on the premises overnight.

Handling of Materials

Readers are expected to handle materials with great care. Only pencils are to be used for note-taking. Pages are to be turned carefully, and no weight except a booksnake (provided) should rest on books or manuscripts. For some materials, use of a book cradle (provided) is mandatory. Readers should be careful not to disturb the physical association among items. If something appears to be out of order in a file, readers should mention it to a staff member rather than correcting the situation themselves. Works of art on paper should be handled by their mats only. The text and illustrations of books and manuscripts should never be touched. A staff member will provide guidance in handling all materials.

Use of Electronic Equipment

The Reading Room is equipped with hookups for your personal computers, typewriters, and voice recorders. The use of cameras or portable scanning equipment is not permitted. Researchers will be asked to discontinue use of any equipment which disrupts the work of other patrons.

Copies, Photographs, and Digital Images

Photocopies, photographs, and scans are made by Rosenbach staff only if the condition of the material permits, at the curator’s discretion, and in limited quantities. Readers wishing photocopies or photographs should request an order form and fee schedule or download the versions available at the bottom of this page. Microfilm is not available.

Photocopies, photographs, and scans are provided for the purchaser’s personal research only; permission to publish or reproduce in any form, including digitization, must be applied for separately.


In almost all instances, the Rosenbach owns only the physical property in its manuscripts — not the literary property, or copyright, associated with the papers. These literary rights are retained by the authors of the manuscripts or by their heirs or estates. Authorization to publish or quote from manuscripts must be sought from both the owner of the copyright and the Rosenbach Museum & Library. Authorization to reproduce works of art should also be sought from the Rosenbach. An application form is available below, or can be sent upon request.

Photo/photocopy order form29.5 KB
Permission application 52 KB
Fees and instructions for reproductions and permissions44.98 KB