Special & Area Studies Collections
PO Box 117005
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
205 Smathers Library
Gainesville, FL 32611-7005
(Physical address: 1508 Union Rd)

Email: special@uflib.ufl.edu
Phone: 352.273.2755
Fax: 352.846.2746

Using the Collections

Reading Room

Patron Rules & Registration

The patron rules and registration information is for non-circulating materials that are only accessible in the Special Collections Research Room (located on the second floor of the Smathers Library).

Rules for Using Special Collections

Sign the guest book at the desk when arriving and leaving each day.
Inform staff at the desk if you leave the Research Room during the day.

Due to their value, physical condition, and uniqueness, Special Collections materials do not circulate and must be used in the Research Room.   Special Collections materials require special handling and security precautions to ensure their preservation.  Researchers will be assigned a table at which to work.

  • Drinks (including water), food, gum, tobacco and e-cigarettes, etc., are not permitted in the Research Room
  • Personal items allowed at the table include pencils, paper (notebooks may be inspected upon exit), laptop computers, and cameras
  • Pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and similar items are not allowed at the table
  • Backpacks, laptop cases, bags, and purses are to be placed in lockers
  • Leave coats and outerwear on the coatracks provided
  • Silence cell phones and other mobile devices; exit the room if you need to place or receive a call
  • Ask staff about duplication procedures and permissions. Permission to scan is contingent upon the condition of the paper and any fastening methods. You are encouraged to bring a digital camera to take photographs of most materials.
  • Handle items with care:
    • four books or one box on the table at a time
    • one folder from a box on the table at a time
    • do not rearrange items in boxes or folders; insert file marker in box when folder removed
    • some items require specialized handling procedures that will be explained by staff
  • Last retrieval of the day will occur one hour before closing; later requests available by 9am next day


Public computers:
There are two computer workstations in the Research Room for general use.  UF users can sign on with their regular Gatorlink account information.  Guest users will need a guest Gatorlink account created at the Reference Desk or at any other library location.  Information may be saved onto a flash drive, CD, DVD, printed, or emailed.  Once the patron has exited and logged off, any information is erased. 

One of the public computers has a scanner attached.  Scanning is free, and scans may be saved onto a flash drive, CD, DVD, printed, or emailed.  

There are two digital microfilm machines, currently housed in Room 207.  The digital microfilm machines require the Gatorlink (or guest Gatorlink) signon.  Like with the scanners, information may be saved onto a flash drive, CD, DVD, printed, or emailed.

Audio/Visual Equipment: 
Patrons can request a rolling cart containing a TV with DVD and VHS, a turntable, a CD player, a cassette player, and a receiver, with supplied headphones. 

Digital Cameras:
Digital cameras are generally permissible to aid in your research.