Using Special Collections and College Archives
Special Collections services are available to Occidental students, faculty and staff and outside researchers.
Occidental Community: If you have a question or research inquiry, or would like to bring your class into Special Collections, please contact us by phone or email.
Outside researchers ("Non-Oxy"): Occidental is a private institution. Services and reading room are not available to the public except by appointment. Outside researchers must contact Special Collections by email. For remote users, we can provide an hour of research free of charge. Additional time is charged at $25/hour. Due to limited staff we request at least 2 weeks to research and, in some cases, we may not be able to fulfill requests.
Special Collections and College Archives Inquiries (Including all research requests.)
Phone: (323) 259-2852
Dale Stieber, Special Collections Librarian and College Archivist
Anne Mar, Assistant College Archivist and Metadata Specialist
Helena de Lemos, Rare Books and Book Arts Librarian
Researching and Requesting Rare Books or Archival Materials:
- To request a book, first search Occidental College Library's online catalog. If the item is in the Catalog, please print out the entire record and bring it to the librarian.
- The stacks within Special Collections and College Archives are closed to all except authorized Special Collections staff. You must request materials from the librarian or staff.
- Many archival materials are not in the catalog. You may consult the librarian for any information concerning Special Collections, its catalogs and/or inventories.
In the Reading Room:
- Materials can only be used in the Reading Room; do not remove any items from the Reading Room.
- Sign in with your contact information.
- Leave your book bag, jacket and/or purse in the librarian's office adjacent to the Reading Room. Any notebooks you will take with you into the Reading Room must be inspected.
- Use pencils only. Pens, markers, highlighters, whiteout and indelible pencils are not allowed.
- Do not write on top of any Special Collections item, even if using a notepad.
- No tracing or photocopying.
- Do not write upon, damage or make any mark upon any book, manuscript, or any other Special Collections item. If you see a defect in or on any item, please call it to the attention of the Special Collections Librarian.
- Research materials may require special handling. The librarian in charge will instruct you about how to handle the item.
- Cotton gloves must be worn when handling photographs, artwork or rare books. The librarian will provide the gloves and indicate their use.
- A rare and fragile book may be placed in book cradles to protect the spine.
- The staff may provide further instruction on the care and handling of rare and fragile materials.
- When you have finished, return all items to the librarian in charge.
Copying, Scanning, Photographing:
- The United States copyright law, Title 17, U.S. Code, governs the making of reproductions, including photocopying, of copyrighted material. Special Collections reserves the right to refuse a copying order if, in its judgment, it would involve violation of copyright law.
- All reproductions of Special Collections materials are for reference purposes only. Permission to publish material must be sought in writing from Special Collections as the physical owner of the material. However, permission to publish does not constitute a copyright clearance. Copyright clearance must be obtained from the copyright holder(s) by the researcher. Special Collections can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we retain copyright. Special Collections is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material.
- Special Collections reserves the right to charge a handling fee of 25% of the total cost for any copying orders, especially for those orders that are large, complicated, or “rushed.”
- Due to the nature and condition of many of the materials in Special Collections, items may be copied, scanned or photographed by permission only. Many items may be copied only by staff and some materials are too fragile to be photocopied at all. Since it is not always possible to do an accurate page count from the finding aids please contact us to request a quote.
- Turnaround for reproduction requests may take up to 2 weeks.
- Our fee schedule for Non-Oxy users is as follows:
- Photocopying: Limit: 100 copies: .25 each, cash or check
- Scanning: $5 per image, cash or check
- Photographing using personal equipment must be approved in advance; flash is not allowed. There is no charge but the user must provide a copy of images to Special Collections.