Availability of Materials for Public Use
The Western History Collections does not allow materials to be circulated (checked out) from the reading room. Please schedule a research appointment to use materials. As part of the appointment process, indicate which materials you need or ask us for help identifying potential resources. Pre-registration and consultation with a librarian regarding collection materials to be used are required before arrival. The consultation process helps us determine if materials are available onsite or if your inquiry can be answered virtually.
Appointments are available Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Researchers who visit in person shall complete and sign a Researcher Registration Form and present a photo ID to Collections staff. As part of making an appointment, researchers shall complete a Researcher Registration Form prior to their visit.
Remote Research Assistance
Please search ArchivesSpace to identify potential archival collection materials. Once you have identified materials, please email email@example.com and let us know the collection name/s and box numbers (for manuscripts), collection name/s and image or item numbers (for photos or maps). If you need additional assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To identify books, search the Local Catalog on the OU Libraries website and provide us the title, publication year, and call number, if you are needing copies of specific pages. Please note that we do not send books through interlibrary loan.
Staff members do not interpret information contained in the materials.
Extensive research cannot be undertaken. For research that requires more than two hours, we will most likely direct you to a researcher-for-hire.
Requests for information by email, telephone or mail are handled in the order in which they are received.
Reading Room Use
- Access: Use of certain published materials and manuscripts is restricted by law, by reason of their origin, or by donor agreement. For the protection of its holdings, the Western History Collections also reserves the right to restrict the use of unprocessed materials, or books and documents of exceptional value and fragility. Use of any material is subject to the approval of the curatorial staff.
- Researchers' Responsibility for Materials: Researchers acknowledge the receipt of all materials used by their submission of the Researcher Registration Form. Curatorial staff will limit the quantity of manuscript materials made available in the reading room to four document cases at a time, with one document case on a desk at a time, and only one folder is to be removed from a document case at a time. Materials must be requested as part of the appointment process. Researchers are responsible for all materials delivered to them until they are returned to a staff member at the reference desk.
- Keeping Materials in Order: Researchers shall keep unbound materials in the order in which they are delivered and filed. Researchers shall not rearrange materials appearing to be disordered, but shall notify the staff about the condition.
- Preventing Damage to Materials: Researchers shall exercise all possible care to prevent damage to materials. Researchers may use pencils in the Reading Room. The use of fountain pens, ball point pens, highlighters, or "rubber fingers" is not permitted. Materials shall not be written on, leaned on, folded anew, traced, fastened with rubber bands or metal paper clips, or handled in any other way likely to cause damage. Adhesive notes may not be attached to original materials. Researchers shall immediately notify a staff member should damage of any kind occur to any materials. Under no circumstances shall a researcher attempt to repair damage. The use of materials of exceptional value or in fragile condition may be subject to additional conditions specified by the curatorial staff.
- Microfilm Copies and Digital Access: The Western History Collections will not provide original materials for research use if digital access or a microfilm copy of the materials is available.
- Removal of Materials: Researchers shall not remove materials from the reading room. Briefcases, books, backpacks, jackets, and other personal articles must be left in a designated area. Researchers shall, on request, present for inspection on leaving the reading room, any package, envelope, or other article which could contain materials furnished for researcher use.
- Use of Sound Recording Equipment: Researchers shall request sound recordings from a staff member who will instruct the researcher in the proper use of the equipment. Researchers shall operate equipment in a manner which will prevent damage to either the equipment or the material. Curatorial staff may place time limitations on the use of sound recording equipment in order to permit other researchers access to the machines.
- Use of Personal Copying and Recording Equipment: Researchers may photograph books, manuscripts, and photographs using their own handheld devices. Camera flashes are prohibited, and electronic equipment must not directly contact collection materials. Flatbed scanners are not allowed. Researchers are solely responsible for recording their own citations for all materials used, copied, and photographed.
- Conduct: Researchers are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke in the Reading Room. Cell phones must be set to "Silent" and be used only outside the Reading Room. Loud talking or other activity which may disturb other researchers is also prohibited.
- Pets: Service animals are allowed in the facilities.
- Retrieval: All stacks are closed. All research materials will be retrieved by staff members. Researchers shall not enter the stack areas.
For citations in published or unpublished papers, this repository should be listed as the Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman, Oklahoma.
- Manuscript collections should be cited in the format shown in this example:
- Melvin Cornish Collection, Box 5, Folder 2. Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman, Oklahoma.
- Photograph collections should be cited in the format shown in this example:
- Raymond A. Tolbert Collection #322. Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman, Oklahoma.
Reproduction Policies for Photographs
Policies Governing the Use and Reproduction of Photographs from the Western History Collections
- All requests for photographic materials are filled in the order they are received and as time permits. Search requests must be specified as to the intended use of the photograph, e.g., in a magazine article, book, exhibit, etc.
- When we correspond with you regarding your order, we will give you an approximate time for when it will be filled.
- The person ordering photographs will be charged a processing fee to cover the costs of scanning the photographs for a one-time non-exclusive use of the photograph for publication or other purpose.
- Permission may be granted upon request for a one-time, non-exclusive use of photographs for publication, exhibition, or other purpose if the proposed use is specified and approved by curatorial staff. Any subsequent use of a photograph will require separate permission from this department. Restrictions have been placed on the use of some collections by the donors.
- Proper credit (Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Collection Name, Image Number) must always be given. The person ordering the photograph and requesting permission for its use is responsible for the credit line.
- The person or publisher who orders photographs for use in a publication or a production from these collections is responsible for providing this department with verification that proper use and credit of the photographs have been made as specified in the original request and for which permission to use was granted. This can be done by sending this department a copy of the publication. In the case of documentary films and other types of media, any suitable verification will meet this requirement (brochure, flyer, letter).
- All proposed commercial use of photographs must be stated in advance. We reserve the right to charge a special fee in any instance where a photograph is used for the purposes other than that for which it was originally ordered, or for strictly commercial ventures, e.g., textbooks, commercially sponsored film, television, advertising, etc. Curatorial staff reserves the right to refuse the photographs intended for commercial use.
- Onsite researchers can take photographs of collections materials with their own handheld devices. Camera flashes are prohibited, and electronic equipment must not directly contact collections materials. Flatbed scanners are not allowed.
- Photographs are not supplied to commercial archives or publishers for resale.
- Reproductions of photographs ordered from the Western History Collections may not be deposited or placed on file in any other repository without permission and proper crediting, with the exception of tribal repositories when the materials originate from that community.
- The University of Oklahoma is not responsible for any illegal or improper use of these materials.
- The fees charged for photographic reproductions from these holdings do not in any way constitute sale of the photographs but are merely fees charged for scanning the original image. The Western History Collections retains all rights to the photographic materials on file in the Western History Collections of the University of Oklahoma Libraries.
- The Western History Collections reserves the right to change these policies at any time without prior notice.
Reproduction Policies for Books, Manuscripts, and Oversized Materials
Onsite use of the Western History Collections is by appointment only. Orders can be taken for copies and scans to be filled later. The charge for copies from books, journals and manuscripts is 25 cents per page, to be paid at the time of copy. Additional fees may apply for oversized materials, large orders, rush orders, and orders that require special prep work. Copies requested by off-site researchers are provided as digital files and will be shared through email or a file sharing service. Paper copies will not be mailed.
- The Western History Collections provides reproductions only for research use by the person requesting them. Reproductions provided are not to be used by other researchers or placed in any other library, museum, or repository, with the exception of tribal repositories when the materials originate from that community.
- The Western History Collections reserves the right to limit or deny copy requests of rare or fragile materials.
- The number of copies that can be made from any manuscript or university archives collection is limited to 200 pages.
- All orders must be prepaid (after having received an invoice), and all sales are final.
- Credit cards are not accepted.
- Requests for copies of manuscripts, photographs, books, maps, posters, and sound recordings may not be submitted through interlibrary loan.
- All copying of books, periodicals, pamphlets, sound recordings, photographs, manuscripts, and maps will be performed by WHC personnel.
- For on-site requests of over 50 pages, the rate of 25 cents per page is charged for photocopies/scan orders from books, periodicals, and manuscripts.
- Digital reproductions from books, manuscripts, oversized materials, and sound recordings may be purchased according to the current fee schedule.
- On-site requests for on-site photocopies/scan orders of 20 or fewer pages should be submitted to WHC staff no later than 30 minutes prior to the end of the appointment for same-day copying. Requests submitted after this time will be copied the next working day.
- On-site requests for photocopies/scan orders larger than 50 pages may be purchased according to the current fee schedule and will be processed in the order that they are received.
- The Western History Collections does not claim copyright to materials in the collections. The researcher is responsible for determining copyright for any materials used.
- Permission to publish must be secured from the rights holders. Responsibility for determining the rights holders and adhering to copyright law rests with the researcher.
- The researcher is responsible for crediting the Western History Collections for any materials used.
Materials in the Public Domain
No laws restrict copying of public domain materials. However, the Western History Collections reserves the right to limit or deny copying in order to protect materials which might be physically harmed as a result of such copying.
Copyright Restrictions on Copying
Published and unpublished materials may be protected by Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Permission to publish must be secured from the rights holders. Responsibility for determining the rights holders and adhering to copyright law rests with the researcher. Any copies of published and unpublished materials provided by the Western History Collections are for research, scholarship, and study purposes only, and are not to be placed on file in any other repository. Use of certain published materials and manuscripts is restricted by law, by reason of their origin, or by donor agreement. For the protection of its holdings, the Western History Collections also reserves the right to restrict the use of unprocessed materials, or books and documents of exceptional value and fragility. Use of any material is subject to the approval of the curatorial staff.
- Only two chapters per book or two articles per journal issue may be copied, or 20 percent of a book or journal volume, not to exceed 50 pages (whichever comes first).
- Only 20 percent of a musical score may be copied, as long as that portion copied does not comprise of a performable unit of work.
- Only 20 percent of an unpublished manuscript may be copied.
- No portion of a work intended by the publisher to be consumed by the original user may be copied (e.g., workbooks, etc.).
Notice: Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
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 copy of 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 user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user 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.
Copy or Scan Fees
Photocopies and PDF Scans of Books and Manuscripts
8 1/2" x 11" or 8 1/2" x 14" only, photocopies or 300 dpi scans
- Items that have been previously scanned: no charge
- Books (per page): $0.25
- Manuscripts (per page), one page per photocopy: $0.25
- Files transmitted electronically.
Digital Copies of Oversized Materials (Maps, Posters, Certificates and Diplomas)
Single sheet, cannot have attachments or seals
- Items that have been previously scanned: no charge.
- Larger than 11" x 17": $20
- Files transmitted electronically at no charge.
Note: There is typically a longer waiting period for items larger than 11" x 17".
Digital Reproductions of Photographs
Digital files only will be provided (specify jpg or tiff when ordering). Print copies will not be provided.
- Photographs that have been previously scanned: no charge
- 300 dpi: $16 per image
- 600 dpi: $18 per image
Payment is required before digital files will be delivered. Staff will provide an invoice for the scan request. Please make your check or money order payable to the University of Oklahoma.
How to Order Digital Reproductions
Be sure to include:
- For books, include the title, publication year, and call number, if you are needing copies of specific pages.
- For manuscripts, include the collection name/s and box numbers.
- For photos, include the collection name/s, image numbers, and a brief description of photograph being ordered.
- For maps, include the collection name/s and item numbers.
Payment must be received in full before your order will be delivered. Orders will be delivered as digital files.
Make all checks payable to the University of Oklahoma. We do not accept credit cards.