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Research Rules and Application

To do research in Archives and Special Collections, read and agree to the Research Rules, and complete the Research Application.

Research Rules

  • Research in Archives and Special Collections is by appointment only.
    Complete the Research Application below to request your appointment. Your appointment is not final until confirmed by Archives and Special Collections.
  • Make sure you have acceptable identification (MSU ID card, driver's license, or other photo ID). You must show ID and sign the register at the reception desk.
  • Store briefcases, books, coats, hats, bags, purses, or other personal property in the provided self-service lockers.
  • Bring only a notebook, loose sheets of note paper, note cards, or other staff-approved materials into the reading room.
  • Use only pencils in the reading room; pens of any kind are prohibited.
  • You may use computers, typewriters, and recording devices, if they do not disturb other researchers, and if there is adequate space for their use.
  • Do not take Archives and Special Collections materials out of the reading room.
  • Request items by completing call slips - staff will retrieve it for you.
  • Let us know if you need photocopies of materials. All copying must be done by our staff.
  • Leave any books you've pulled from the genealogical browsing shelves on your table - staff will reshelve it.
  • Be considerate of your fellow researchers and of our rare and unique materials - no loud talking, tobacco, food, gum, or beverages in the reading room.
  • Handle materials carefully:
    • Do not write on, alter, lean on, fold anew, trace, or weight materials.
    • Preserve the existing order and arrangement of unbound materials. Report any disarrangement or missing items immediately to the reading room attendant.
    • Use only one manuscript box at a time. If you need multiple boxes, you must finish one before the reading room attendant will retrieve another.
    • Remove only one folder at a time from the box you're using. Use the provided "OUT" card to mark its place. Leave documents inside folders as you examine them.
    • Ask the reading room attendant for gloves if you need to handle photographs or other fragile materials.
  • Return all materials to the reading room attendant before leaving the research area.


The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) provides protection for unpublished materials as well as published works.

Permission to publish from or quote from unpublished manuscripts or from published items under copyright must first be obtained from the copyright holder.

You assume full responsibility for conforming to copyright laws.

Citing Materials

Cite materials from our collections as follows:

[Item Name], [Collection Title], Archives and Special Collections Department, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University.


Call (662) 325-7679, or email with any questions.

Research Application