Accessing and Using Special Collections Materials
Use Library Search and The Claremont Colleges Digital Library/CCDL to find and request Special Collections materials.
The Special Collections Reading Room, located on the second floor of The Claremont Colleges Library adjacent to the North Lobby, is where you have access to the collections for study and research and also to our expert staff who can assist you and answer any questions you might have.
- Same day requests for materials are accepted, though longer delays are possible for some materials.
- We’re happy to place materials on hold/reserve for up to one semester by request.
- Feel free to bring your laptop and/or a camera; in the Reading Room we have a rare book scanner for you to make personal research copies of materials, with staff approval, at no cost.
All Special Collections materials should be handled with extra care, and users must
- Use pencils only; no ink, please. Pencils are available if you do not have one.
- Consult one folder or item at a time.
- Folders of materials must be kept flat on a reading table. Bound volumes must be supported in a cradle (provided). Book weights should be used to hold bound volumes open. Do not lean on materials, mark them, or take notes on top of them.
- Turn pages gently.
- Keep any loose material in the order in which you find it.
- Report any mis-arrangements, mutilations, or unopened leaves.
- Stow computer bags, backpacks, and purses on the shelves provided.
- Comply with a staff member’s directions regarding wearing cotton gloves for handling fragile items such as photographic prints and medieval manuscripts.
There is no eating or drinking, including water bottles and travel mugs, in the reading room.
- Make your own digital copies at no cost in the Reading Room:
- Non-flash photography with phones, personal devices, and cameras–with permission.
- A high-quality rare book scanner is available, first come-first served, in the Reading Room.
- We cannot fill requests for copying materials that are too fragile.
- Please review Copyright & Permissions below before making your request.We reserve the right to limit the number of copies made; to restrict the use of rare and valuable items; and to deny a request because of copyright regulations, privacy rights, donor-imposed regulations, or other rights related issues.
- Make a request for copies through our Researcher Registration page.
- Enter the item details, desired file type, delivery type, and service method.
- Be sure to complete these sections, otherwise your order will be delayed.
- Copy services are free to students, faculty, and staff of the Claremont Colleges.
- Fees are charged by the page or hourly depending on the size and format of your order.
- We accept credit cards, checks, or cash (in-person orders only).
- Prepayment is required for all orders.
- $5.00 minimum fee.
- $100.00 commercial use fee.
- A 25% handling charge will be added to large, complicated, or rush orders.
- PDF: 25 cents per scan
- JPEG: $1.00 per image
- TIFF: $1.00 per image
- All file types are available in Color or Black & White
- For large scanning jobs:
- $15.00 per hour
- Billed in whole hours, with 1 hour minimum
- On-site: 25 cents per sheet
- U.S. Mail: 35 cents per sheet (plus shipping)
- Due to copyright restrictions, only 10% of a book, pamphlet, brochure, newspaper, or folder may be duplicated
- $15.00 per hour
- Billed in whole hours, with a 1 hour minimum
- Most oversized materials must be photographed
- Downloadable File:
- Free — access through your Researcher Registration account
- Hardcopy discs:
- $1.00 disc fee
- $3.00 shipping
- Domestic and International shipping available
- Shipping cost varies by order
Use the following citation as a model when using Special Collections materials/quotations in your research:
- Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library, Claremont, California.
- Include the collection name when citing materials from specific collections, for example:
- War Relocation Authority Records, Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library, Claremont, California.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a researcher uses a reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that researcher may be liable for copyright infringement.]
- Special Collections welcomes you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law. When you use our materials in your work, please cite us.
- Users of Special Collections are expected to abide by all copyright laws.
- Special Collections can grant permission to publish only for those materials for which we retain copyright.
- For all other materials, researchers must obtain copyright clearance from the copyright holder(s).
- Special Collections is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material.
- Special Collections reserves the right to refuse a copying order if, in its judgment, it would involve violation of copyright law.
- To determine whether the material you wish to publish is in the public domain or not, see
Request permission to publish (if Special Collections owns copyright)
- Open/Download Permission Form
- Fill out and sign the above form and return to Special Collections.
- Unsigned forms will not be accepted.
- Return via:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- US Mail:
Permission to Publish
Special Collections and Libraries
The Claremont Colleges Library
800 N Dartmouth Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Here are some of the ways Special Collections staff can support your teaching and your students’ research:
- Consult with you to develop assignments that allow your students to engage with and take advantage of relevant Special Collections sources in their course work. We have examples of assignments that have been successful with classes, and we are happy to work with you to adapt those or to create something new just for your students.
- Introduce students to the collections, research tools, and services available to them from Special Collections and engage students in finding and using primary source materials for their research assignments.
- Host your class in the Special Collections Reading Room or in the library’s Keck Classroom to view and engage with selected sources relevant for your course topic.
- Create customized guides to relevant sources in our collections. See Classes, Exhibits, and Events.
Request an instruction session for your class/group] at least two (2) weeks prior to the instruction session. Please contact Ashley Larson, our Public Services Librarian, with any questions or special requests.
We welcome visits by community groups and are happy to prepare presentations for them.
Developed collaboratively by librarians in Special Collections and in the Research, Teaching, & Learning Services division, the process research sequence moves students through multiple steps in a research process.
- Examine relevant physical primary sources in Special Collections to understand their “stories” and their unique contributions to research.
- Find and use additional physical and digital primary sources that expand understanding of the topic within its historical/cultural milieu.
- Develop research questions based on exploration of the primary sources.
- Explore secondary sources to discover issues raised in various scholarly conversations.
- Consider questions of interest for further research.
Materials for the sequence are selected to fit the focus of the course. Originally developed as a two-part series for graduate students, librarians have adapted the sequence to work with classes at all levels. Please let us know if you are interested in adapting this sequence for your class(es).
Explore themed guides and checklists that we have created for classes, exhibitions, and events. These thematic bibliographies provide glimpses into the breadth and depth of rare and unique collections that are available for your instruction session in Special Collections.