Using Rare Books at the Library of Michigan

Please leave all personal belongings in the lockers outside the reading room. You may bring in pencils, paper, and a laptop computer, without the case. Golf pencils and scrap paper are available upon request. The desk attendant will collect your picture identification when you ask for a key to a locker or when you submit a request form. Your ID will be kept in a sheltered location until all materials/keys are returned.

The Library of Michigan welcomes your use of the Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book reading room. Prior to traveling long distances to view rare materials, calling is recommended to ensure the desired items are available.

  1. Fully complete a separate "Request for Use of Rare Materials" form for each item you wish to see. The Rare Book Collection is located in an area closed to the public; therefore, library staff will retrieve requested items for you.
  2. Bring a current photo ID (driver's license, state identification card, or other picture ID that includes contact information).
  3. You may bring other materials belonging to the Library of Michigan into the reading room to assist you in your research. However, we ask that you give them to the attendant when you leave.

All patrons must adhere to the following procedures regardless of whether rare materials are being utilized:

  1. Your hands must be clean. Please wash them immediately before entering the reading room.
  2. No food, drink, tobacco product, chewing gum, or hand lotion may be used in the reading room.
  3. Only pencil may be used for note taking. No pens, highlighters, etc. are allowed.
  4. Please do not lean on any materials or rest anything (your hands/arms, books, note pads, etc.) on them. If an item is tightly bound, do not force it open. If you need a support prop for an item or cannot manage to keep it open for note taking, ask the attendant for help.
  5. Tracing is not permitted.
  6. Please turn pages carefully and do not rest an open book face down.
  7. If you encounter uncut pages or any damage to the material, please notify the desk attendant.
  8. When finished, please return rare materials immediately to the monitor's station. This will ensure they are safely returned to the stacks area for the next user.
  9. Copies are made by library staff of rare materials provided they are not too fragile or in violation of copyright laws. Copy request forms are available from the desk attendant. Copy cards may be purchased on the second floor. For permission to photograph materials and/or to use materials from the Rare Book Collection in a commercial publication, please contact a staff member in the rare book room.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Reviewed 05/30/2007