Fall 2020 access to Special Collections

The Special Collections reading room will open to researchers by appointment only, beginning August 25, 2020.

Our highest priority is to foster community health and protect the health and safety of all people who work in or visit the JMU Libraries. Services will be offered only to those who abide by safety protocols and no more than one researcher will be permitted in the reading room at a time.

In accordance with JMU Stop the Spread” requirements, Libraries users and staff must wear face masks covering the mouth and nose (or, if an accommodation is needed, another approved face covering) in all public and shared spaces.

See JMU Libraries’ Fall 2020 Re-Entry Plan for information regarding access to all JMU Libraries locations and services.

Important COVID-19 information about requesting Special Collections appointments

Appointments are required at this time and must be requested at least 72 hours in advance to allow adequate time for processing and confirmation. Requests placed on Friday may require additional processing time.

After use, Special Collections materials undergo a 72-hour quarantine period before being available for use by researchers. This may impact your appointment date. 

The following appointment blocks are available:

  • Tuesdays:  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays:  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays:  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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

Please wait until you have received an appointment confirmation email before traveling to the library.

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please contact our staff at library-special@jmu.edu. Special Collections staffing is limited. In the event that we are unable to staff your appointment as scheduled, we may contact you to reschedule.

About your Special Collections visit

Location: 

The reading room is located in room 203 on the second floor of Carrier Library near the Quad on the JMU campus. 

Parking: 

In order to park on JMU’s campus, a parking permit must be hung from the rear view mirror and may be obtained free of charge Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m from JMU Parking Services, located in the ground-level office of the Champions Parking Deck. See Parking Services Visitor FAQs for additional information.

Required COVID-19 protocols:

Before your appointment time, we will ask you to confirm you are feeling well, are not exhibiting any symptoms associated with COVID-19, and do not believe you pose a health risk to others. 

When you arrive for your scheduled appointment wearing your face mask covering the mouth and nose (or, if an accommodation is needed, another approved face covering), please wait at the benches outside of the reading room. Staff will retrieve your requested materials and set up your research space before inviting you into the reading room.

To limit physical interaction and contact with shared surfaces, the lockers typically used for storage of personal belongings during your research visit are currently unavailable. Instead, all bags, coats, and other personal belongings must be placed on a designated table within the reading room. No food or drink is permitted within the reading room, and all other reading room policies remain in place.

Required COVID-19 reading room procedures:

Special Collections materials are quarantined for 72 hours after each use. Shared surfaces are disinfected at the beginning of each shift and the end of each shift. Out-cards are disinfected after use and book cradles are quarantined for 72 hours after use.

Please thoroughly wash your hands before handling materials, especially if you have used hand sanitizer. Residue from hand sanitizer may transfer to and damage materials. 

Researchers do not wear gloves in the reading room while handling materials unless working with photographs. 

Libraries users and staff are asked to maintain adequate physical distance from others and follow all directional and other posted signage. 

While in the reading room, you will have access to one box or up to 3 volumes on your table at one time. Let staff know when you are finished, and they will remove the box/book(s) and set up any additional material you have requested.

Staff will set up your research space with necessary support tools, as needed. Items may include an out-card for marking folder location, book cradles, or snake weights. 

Bring your own laptop or tablet. No public computers are available within the reading room.

To limit physical interaction and contact with shared surfaces, the overhead scanner located in the reading room is currently unavailable. You are encouraged to use personal devices for reference-quality reproduction. Please speak with a Special Collections staff member or email library-special@jmu.edu for assistance or questions regarding reproduction requests.

At the conclusion of your visit, please leave all boxes and print materials on the table and let staff know so they can sign you out of the reading room.

Know that we are here to answer questions about research, collections, and proper handling of materials.

All other Special Collections Reading Room policies remain in place.

Request an appointment

1. Register as a Special Collections user. Visit the Special Collections Request System and create an account or log in:

  • If you are a JMU-affiliated user, click JMU users (e-id) and use your JMU eID, password, and Duo to authenticate.
  • If you are not affiliated with JMU, click Non-JMU users and follow the process to log in, creating an account if you need to.
  • If you are a first-time user of the Special Collections Request system, click Create Account, review our regulations/policies/FAQ, use the checkbox to verify that you’ve read and will follow them, and click I Accept.

2. Identify the materials you would like to consult. You can find records for Special Collections materials in these places:

3. Please ask us if you would like help identifying the materials to consult. We’re happy to help you navigate the request process. Email us at library-special@jmu.edu.

4. Once you have identified the materials you would like to consult, follow these instructions to initiate your materials request:


How to initiate a request from the JMU Library Catalog for books and other non-manuscript printed materials

1. Once you have used the JMU Library Catalog to find the Special Collections print material(s) that you would like to consult, click on the title of the material, then click the Request for Use in Special Collections button, as shown below:

screenshot of catalog record with arrow pointing to request button

2. If you are not signed in yet, you will be prompted to sign in:

  • If you are a JMU-affiliated user, click JMU users (e-id) and use your JMU eID, password, and Duo to authenticate.
  • If you are not affiliated with JMU, click non-JMU users and follow the process to log in.
  • If you are a first-time user of the Special Collections Request system, you will click Create Account, review our regulations/policies/FAQ, use the checkbox to verify that you’ve read and will follow them, and click I Accept.

3. Once you have signed in, you will see the New Printed Materials Request form. Information from the material you selected will be imported from the JMU Library Catalog into this request form. Review the material’s information and add any details on the specific volume or copy you wish to see (if needed). See example below:

screenshot of materials request

4. If you have any questions about your request or visit, please add them in the Special Requests/Questions? section of the form.

5. To schedule your appointment, review the COVID-19 updated procedures under Schedule Visit, then select the date and time you would like to visit the reading room to see the materials. Indicate your second choice appointment and time if applicable. See example below:

screenshot of scheduling option in request

7. After you submit your request, Special Collections staff will process your request to determine the availability of your requested appointment and the requested collection materials. You will receive an email to confirm or reschedule your requested appointment as soon as possible. Please review our COVID-19 information about appointments before you visit the Special Collections.

Back to Request an appointment


How to initiate a request for manuscript collections materials (personal papers, archives, collections)

The request link for manuscript collections materials is located within the finding aid (collection guide) for each collection. You have two options for accessing the finding aids:

Option one: You can scroll to the bottom of a JMU Library Catalog record and click on the Finding aid for this collection link. See example below:

Option two: You can browse the alphabetical list of finding aids for collections on our Manuscript Collections page.

Once you’ve accessed a finding aid either through the JMU Library Catalog or through the Manuscript Collections page, follow these instructions to request materials:

1. Review the finding aid and identify the boxes from the collection inventory that you would like to consult. Click on the Request for use in Special Collections button from within the finding aid. See example below:

2. If you are not signed in yet, you will be prompted to sign in:

  • If you are a JMU-affiliated user, click JMU users (e-id) and use your JMU eID, password, and Duo to authenticate.
  • If you are not affiliated with JMU, click non-JMU users and follow the process to log in.
  • If you are a first-time user of the Special Collections Request system, you will click Create Account, review our regulations/policies/FAQ, use the checkbox to verify that you’ve read and will follow them, and click I Accept.

3. You will see the New Manuscript Collections Request form, which will be filled out with information from the finding aid including collection title, collection number and other record information. Review the collection information and add the box number you wish to consult in the box field. One box is allowed per submission; if you wish to consult multiple boxes during your appointment, create a new request for each box. See example below:

4. Refer to the finding aid to identify the boxes you would like to consult in the reading room. (Finding aids are linked at the end of a catalog record, and listed alphabetically on the Manuscript Collections page.)

5. If you have any questions about your request or visit, please add them in the Special Requests/Questions? section of the form.

6. To schedule your appointment, review the COVID-19 updated procedures under Schedule Visit, then select the date and time you would like to visit the reading room to see the materials. Indicate your second choice appointment and time if applicable. See example below:

screenshot of scheduling option in request

7. After you submit your request, Special Collections staff will process your request to determine the availability of your requested appointment and the requested collection materials. You will receive an email to confirm or reschedule your requested appointment as soon as possible. Please review our COVID-19 information about appointments before you visit the Special Collections.

Back to Request an appointment


How to initiate a request from within the Special Collections Request System web interface

Once you have created an account within the Special Collections Request System, you can create and manage requests for appointments/materials, request reproductions, and see the status of your requests.

When prompted to sign in to the Special Collections Request System:

  • JMU-affiliated users should click JMU users (e-id) and use your JMU eID, password, and Duo to authenticate.
  • People not affiliated with JMU should click non-JMU users and follow the process to log in.
  • First-time users of the Special Collections Request system should click Create Account, review our regulations/policies/FAQ, use the checkbox to verify that you’ve read and will follow them, and click I Accept.

Any active requests you have submitted will appear on that login page. Example below:

 

screenshot of main menu and active requests in aeon login

To request an appointment, select the down arrow next to the Create Request menu item. Choose either Printed Materials or Manuscript Collections, depending on the type of material you would like to consult.

screenshot of aeon menu with arrow pointing to create request

Complete the required fields for your material type, and use the Schedule Visit feature to request an appointment date.

After you submit your request, Special Collections staff will process your request to determine the availability of your requested appointment and the requested collection materials. You will receive an email to confirm or reschedule your requested appointment as soon as possible. Please review our COVID-19 information about appointments before you visit the Special Collections.

Back to Request an appointment