Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need an appointment to visit Special Collections and Archives?

    No, but we strongly recommend making an appointment. The Archives is open Tuesday-Friday from 10am-4pm and Wednesday evenings until 8pm. Wednesday appointments are not available during semester breaks or summer term. Research Appointments must be scheduled two or more business days in advance of visit. If the reading room is at its maximum capacity for social distancing during COVID-19, walk-in researchers will need to schedule an appointment or visit again later. If you are considering a visit, please contact us with any questions you may have.

  2. Can I borrow material from Special Collections and Archives?

    We encourage researchers to use our materials, but we also must preserve them for future scholars as well. Therefore, materials in Special Collections and Archives are not available for borrowing. Materials in the collections may be used in the reading room of Special Collections and Archives during our open hours.

  3. What is the locker policy?

    After you sign in at the reading room, you will need to check all of your belongings into an available locker. We have lockers with locks available near the reading room on the fourth floor. You may keep loose paper, pencils, laptop computers, and research notes with you. Please be advised that for security of our collections, any material brought into the reading room is subject to search prior to leaving the Archives reading room.

  4. How can I get a copy of a photograph from Special Collections and Archives?

    You can get a photographic copy or digital media file made from photographs in Special Collections. Please be aware of Copyright & Use of Materials, and Research Requests & Fees.

  5. Can I use my digital camera or scanner in Special Collections and Archives?

    At the present time, researchers are not permitted to use scanners in the reading room for protection of the materials. However, digital cameras are allowed for reference purposes only. Patrons must sign and follow the Camera Use Policy Agreement (PDF) each visit.

  6. Can I use my laptop computer in Special Collections and Archives?

    Yes, the use of laptop computers is allowed in the reading room, and electrical power outlets are available. However, laptop cases, backpacks, and briefcases must be placed in a locker, as they are not permitted in the reading room.

  7. Can I make photocopies of materials from Special Collections and Archives?

    Most materials in the collections may be photocopied, subject to size, condition, and copyright restrictions. There is a self-service copy machine available in the reading room. Please check with the reading room desk staff if you have any questions concerning making photocopies of materials.

  8. Can I use my cell phone in Special Collections and Archives?

    To help maintain a quiet atmosphere for research and study, we ask that cell phones be put on vibrate or turned off completely. If cell phones must be used, there is a Dunbar Library Cell Phone Zone available just outside the reading room.

  9. Will Special Collections and Archives do research for me?

    Special Collections and Archives provides basic reference service via email, telephone, and mail, in addition to assistance to patrons in the reading room. We encourage researchers to use our finding aids, catalogs, and digital images online to help focus the research request. Please refer to our research guidelines and fees

  10. What exhibits do you have on display?

    Exhibits utilizing materials from Special Collections and Archives are installed on a rotating basis throughout the Dunbar Library multiple times per year. Exhibitions are open to the public during the Libraries' regular hours. News and information about our exhibits can be found on our Out of the Box blog. Additionally, Special Collections and Archives maintains online exhibits as well.

  11. How do you decide what Collections you take?

    Special Collections & Archives has a Collection Policy that outlines the specific subject areas we collect: local and regional history, aviation history, and Wright State University history. This helps the archives focus on materials that are the most relevant to the research needs of our students, faculty, and community.