Archival Materials


  • Researchers must register at the front desk and leave a valid student ID or other form of valid ID. For first time use of the Archives, researchers must complete a Research Application.
  • Users must familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations governing the use of archival materials.
  • All book bags, briefcases, large purses, outerwear, and other large items must be left in the lockers outside the area.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the area. Smoking is prohibited.
  • Tape recorders & cameras cannot be used unless permission is granted.
  • Archival materials do not circulate and cannot be placed on Reserve.
  • Archival materials cannot be sent through interlibrary loan.
  • Researchers are limited to one box at a time and can remove only one folder. Manuscript material should not be remove from its position within the file folder. Misfiled materials or irregularities should be reported to the staff.
  • Do not make any marks, erasures or any other changes in the documents. To mark a place in folders or books, use only clean paper sheets or strips.
  • Restricted items & unprocessed collections may be consulted only with the permission of the department head.
  • The use of pens is prohibited, but pencils are permitted.


  • Researchers are not permitted to photocopy archival materials or photographs. Materials will not be photocopied if doing so will damage the original or violate donor agreements, legal restrictions or copyright law.
  • The Archives provides photo duplication services within reasonable limits. Due to workload involving assisting patrons and other responsibilities, photocopying may not be done on demand. Patrons needing this service should fill out a photocopy request form. The cost of copying are 10 cents per page and payment is due when service is completed.
  • Complete letter series, folders, and materials restricted by donors, or the library staff cannot be photocopied.
  • Unpublished works in their entirety cannot be photocopied without the permission of the writer, donor, depositor, literary heir or the Tennessee State University Library in compliance with the U.S. Copyright laws.
  • Permission to photocopy materials that are fragile or brittle will not be permitted.
  • Permission to publish research prepared from materials in the collections must be secured from the proper sources, and credit given upon publication to the Tennessee State University Library Special Collections and Archives. 
  • Citations for the Archives should follow this format: Name of collection, Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Tennessee State University Library.
  • The copying of musical works is prohibited according to copyright law.

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