Plan a Visit to Special Collections

To accommodate the Carrier Library Renovation and Expansion project, Special Collections is temporarily located in Burruss Hall. The temporary Special Collections reading room is now open by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm.

JMU Special Collections materials and services are available to everyone.

Before You Arrive

Create a User Account

Visitors must first create a user account with the Special Collections Request System. Your user account allows you to make appointments and request materials. All Special Collections materials are for use only in the Special Collections reading room. Appointments must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the date you would like to visit.

After you submit a request for an appointment, Special Collections staff will determine availability, and you will receive an email to confirm or reschedule your requested appointment as soon as possible. 

Please wait until you have received a confirmation email before traveling to the temporary Special Collections Reading Room.

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please contact us at

Questions? We are happy to help you place a request or schedule an appointment. Contact us at


Parking and Transit Services provides visitors to JMU with parking permits at no charge during their regular business hours (7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday). Visitors must present a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration in order to obtain a visitor parking permit. Parking and Transit Services is located in the ground-level office of the Champions Parking Deck. See the Visitor Parking FAQs, JMU Parking Map, or JMU Accessible Parking Map for more information.

Recommended parking for visiting Burruss Hall is in the Mason Street Parking Deck, accessed from the Mason Street entrance. With a parking pass, visitors may park on levels 3-5. Level 2 offers short-term (45 minutes maximum) metered parking, which does not require a permit.

Visiting the Special Collections Reading Room


The temporary Special Collections Reading Room is located in room 256 on the second floor of Burruss Hall near the Quad on the JMU campus.

What can I bring into the reading room?

Camera (with flash disabled)
Mobile phone (set to silent or vibrate)
Laptop and/or tablet (without its sleeve or bag)
USB drive

Where can I store personal belongings? 

The reading room has a designated area where you can store your personal belongings not permitted at the research tables during your visit. The following items must be placed in the designated storage area during your visit:

Bags, purses, and pouches
Drinks (including water bottles)
Lighting equipment

Reading Room Policies

We are here to answer questions about research, collections, and proper handling of materials. You may ask us by visiting the reference desk in the reading room. 

Please follow these policies during your visit:

  • Under no circumstances may researchers remove collection material from the reading room.
  • Researchers agree to handle all collections gently and carefully and to keep loose documents in the order they are found. Handle unique and rare materials with care. Keep them flat on your table or in cradles provided by staff.
  • Use one box and one folder at a time. Order is important in archival collections. Please maintain it.
  • When finished with an item, return it to staff at the reference desk and they will bring you another one.
  • Pencils, a small number of sheets of loose paper, laptop computers, mobile devices on silent settings, and digital cameras are allowed in the reading room. Store your backpacks, bags, and other bulky items in the designated storage area.
  • All food and beverages (including water bottles) are prohibited.
  • Wash hands before beginning your research.
  • Special Collections staff may examine laptops, notes, and other items when researchers exit the reading room.
  • Researchers may use digital cameras for same-day copying of unrestricted collections. Other options (not same day) for copying may be available. Please consult with staff about other available reproduction services.
  • Personal identification information from the Special Collections Request System is kept for statistical and security purposes. JMU Libraries Special Collections will retain information collected from researchers indefinitely.

Making Copies of Collections Material

United States Copyright Law Governs All Reproductions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of all reproductions of copyrighted material, regardless of who makes the reproductions. Libraries and archives are authorized to provide a photocopy or reproduction for private study, scholarship, or research. For collection materials that are not in the public domain in the United States, researchers may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce except for teaching and scholarship, create new works from, distribute, publicly perform or display, or in any way exploit any of the content in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright holder. Researchers making use of any copies in excess of the “fair use” exception may be liable for copyright infringement.

Making Copies During Your Research Visit

  • Use your camera or camera phone to take digital images of materials. (See stipulations below)
  • Use the KIC Scanner located at the front of the reading room. This scanner allows you to email files to yourself or save the files to a USB drive.
  • For high-resolution scans (TIFF format) or requests for copies of audiovisual material, place a reproduction request through your user account in the Special Collections Request System. Your reproduction order will be delivered electronically following your research visit.

Researcher Photography in the Reading Room

  • Flashes must be disabled and special lighting may not be used.
  • Camera cases and other equipment are not permitted in the reading room.
  • Cameras may not be placed on top of or come in contact with collection material. 
  • Hand-held scanners are not permitted.
  • All handling rules, listed above, apply when photographing Special Collections materials.
  • Staff may refuse permission to photograph items due to their size or condition.