Research Policies

  • Appointments are required.  Patrons must receive confirmation from Archives and Rare Books Library staff before their arrival at the Library. Contact the Archives and Rare Books Library by phone 513-556-1959 or by email at to make an appointment.

  • Visitors must complete a researcher registration form upon arrival. By completing the form you indicate an understanding of the library rules and a willingness to abide by them. A photo I.D. is required and will be held while research is being conducted.

  • Bags, coats, and pens are not permitted in the reading room or the reference area and must be stored in the ARB’s secure lockers. Pencils, paper, cell phones, laptops, and tablets are permitted.  Any personal materials taken into the reading room or reference area may be subject to inspection upon leaving. No food or drink is allowed into the Archives & Rare Books Library. 

  • Clean, dry hands are best for handling special collections.  A sink is available for before and after using materials if needed.  Typically, this is preferred over handling books and paper with gloves, as gloves can tear paper more easily.  Instead, making sure hands are free from oils and other chemicals (including sanitizer) is the best practice when handling material.  Staff will provide nitrile gloves when needed, for example, when handling photographs, slides, metal objects, or other materials.

  • All researchers are asked to respectfully share the environment.  Please set your cell phones to silent. If you need to make or receive a phone call while at ARB, we ask that you do so in the hallway outside our research area.

  • No materials may leave the library. Materials in the library do not circulate and are to be used in the reading room or reference area only.

  • Materials in this library must be handled with particular care. Please seek staff assistance for material that seems fragile or for any other concerns, such as uncut pages.  All of our staff are trained to handle these materials and are happy to help you access the material without putting the material at risk.  Please use book cradles and the provided acid-free book markers as necessary.

  • Do not alter any items, including (but not limited to) marking pages, tracing, folding, or cutting. Please notify staff before taking photos of collections items.

  • It is important that manuscript and archival materials are maintained in their processed order. Please work from one box at a time and use the provided placeholder when removing folders.  Do not rearrange or remove items from a collection and report any materials which are out of order. All collections material should be left flat or on supportive structures, and on the table.

  • We have an image reproduction and use policy.  Non-flash photography of most collections items is allowed for personal research use only. Personal scanners are not allowed.  Please see staff if you intend to use any images in our collection in any publication, production, or exhibit.  The photocopier in the reference area is for staff use only.

  • Ask a staff member if you need to see material not previously requested.  Depending on the time of day, staffing availability, and storage location of the material, we may need to make another appointment.

  • When you finish with your materials, please notify staff at the reference desk.  Staff will return your photo I.D. and confirm whether research materials should be placed on hold for a return visit.