| About | Archives
| California Authors | Classes
| Research Grants | Hours
Care & Handling
Because many of the department's holdings are unique, we ask patrons
to follow some simple guidelines designed to protect the materials.
Please help to protect our materials and maintain their condition by
observing the following conservation guidelines:
- Keep hands
clean and dry; place material on clean surface
- Do not use
staples, adhesive tape, post-its, metal paper clips, ink, thick
marking strips or other non-archival material
- Avoid leaning
on materials or piling them up, especially in an open position
- Food and drink
(including water) are not allowed in the Reading Room
- Use carrying
cases, folders, supports whenever possible
- Notify library
staff if you see any evidence of insects or rodents, mildew, damp,
or unusual dirt or deterioration
Do not attempt to repair material yourself. You may use the "Comments
for Curator" flag or other appropriate method
to communicate problems of any kind
- Do not bend,
fold or roll flat material such as maps or other oversize items
- Refer to the
Library photocopy policy or library staff regarding restrictions
on photocopying fragile or restricted material.
Photographic reproduction or microfilming may be possible
- Material should
be used on a table or other flat, elevated surface; do not put
on the floor or on your lap
for handling printed material including books, broadsides, maps, pamphlets, and ephemera)
Paper-based materials, including such
historical documents as broadsides, maps,
and ephemera, record
the life and collecting interests
owners. In addition, all the parts of a book--the
binding, paper, and text--afford evidence
of its past.
and care in handling ensure the preservation
of their physical as well as textual integrity.
Please note that certain individual items
and additional staff
time in order to be prepared for safe use in
the Reading Room.
- Staff will present books in foam, plexiglass, or cardboard cradles, with
or without liners, designed to prevent stress
to all parts of the book. Please keep books in the cradle, which should sit
squarely on the table. Cradles are
designed for use by one book at a time.
- Do not rest anything on top of books. Special weights are available at
the Reading Room desk to hold books and pamphlets
open safely and securely. Never put anything in a book; acid free markers
will be provided when needed. Books
should be closed if left for any period
- Gloves may be provided with material that is especially sensitive to
damage from direct handling such as photographs,
negatives, and metal bindings.
- Please notify a member of the Reading Room staff if you find damage to
paper or bindings which prevents safe handling.
All pieces of bindings or paper that
break off should be kept with the original
material and shown to a staff member.
- Illustrations, letters, and other sheets that fold out or are tipped
into books may require special handling procedures
or materials; please consult a staff
member. Materials housed in boxes or cartons
should be kept in the order received; please remove one item at a time using
place markers provided by a staff member.
- Unopened pages (where the folds in the quires have not been cut, preventing
the turning of single pages) should be
referred to the Reading Room staff.
- Use only paper
- Never force open a book with a tight binding. Do not stack opened books
or place them face
- Avoid touching the surface of pages with writing or painted or gold leaf
on vellum, ink can chip or be rubbed off. Turn pages only at their
- Be aware of the condition of the books you are handling. Even new-looking
books can be at risk,
e.g., perfect-bound books with pages that are simply glued into the spine and
that can easily pop
- To turn a page of a book, lift the top outer corner and lightly slip
the fingertips down
the fore-edge, supporting the page. Do not attempt to turn a page while