About Library Services
  1. Resources
  2. Support
  3. About
  4. My Library
  1. Policies
  2. Collections and resources
  3. Handling Guidelines
Library Services

Archives and Special Collections: Handling Guidelines

Library Services are the custodians of the Archive and Special Collections of City, University of London. This contains the archives of a world class university with a long history of academic excellence in the heart of London. We take great pride in allowing access to these valuable and important documents and must ensure the safety of this collection for future generations.

Following the guidelines below will help protect the materials for future use. We would ask you to handle all materials with care and consideration.

  1. Clean dry hands are best
    1. Please wash your hands before and do not use hand creams before using the materials.
    2. Please do not wet fingers to turn pages.
    3. Unless you have been instructed by Library Services, you will not need to use gloves to handle materials.
  2. Keep work surfaces clean
    1. No food or drink can be taken into the room when using archive material. This includes water bottles.
    2. Ensure the surface is not wet or dusty before placing archive material down. Library staff will check this but please be mindful of this whilst using the materials.
  3. Always support books and other materials
    1. Please lay items onto the middle of a flat clean surface, unless you have been instructed to use a book cushion.
    2. Do not use any holders except flat table surfaces and any supports given to you by Library Services staff.
    3. Never place objects on the floor.
    4. Library Services can offer advice about how to support items.
  4. Please treat archive material with extra-special care
    1. Turn pages of books slowly.
    2. Handle separate pages and photographs one at a time.
    3. Do not fold or mark materials in any way.
    4. Do not remove photos from encapsulated covers.
    5. Do not lean on documents or place notebooks on them.
    6. Please keep all loose items in their original order.
    7. The use of personal devices to photograph archives must not affect the condition of the documents. Flash photography is not permitted (see Related Documents, Access to collections for more information about self-service photography).
  5. Do not write on archive material.
    1. Never write directly on the archive materials.
    2. Pencils only are permitted in the room to write notes in a notepad.
    3. No pens or markers or scissors are allowed in the room with archive material.
    4. Please make sure that your note paper is not lying on top of archival material.

If you need assistance with anything in the Archive please speak to a member of Library Services.

Related documents

Archives and Special Collections: Collection Development Policy

Access to Collections

Copyright and Use of Photographs, Images and Videos

Contact details

If you have any general questions or information relating to content please contact [email protected].

If you have specific questions or information about use of images or other content please contact [email protected].

Copyright Librarian, reviewed November 2022