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P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and University Archives Reading Room: What to Expect

Guidelines to familiarize and prepare users for a successful reading room visit.


  • Please review the complete Special Collections Policy prior to your visit.
  • Please thoroughly wash and dry your hands right before entering the reading room

When first entering the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library/University Archives reading room, you will be asked to:

  • Register with the reading room staff by completing and signing a research agreement. Picture identification is required.
  • Check personal items into a secure locker while using the reading room. Laptop computers and silent cell phones are allowed. 
  • Refrain from using pigments and ink of any kind. Graphite pencils are allowed. 
  • Use provided gloves for handling photographs, gloves are not required to handle texts.
  • Notify library staff when your visit is finished.


  • Food and drink are prohibited in the reading room.
  • Low lighting, let us know if you require more illumination for your needs.
  • Cooler temperatures and drier air, consider bringing a jacket to the Reading Room.
  • A quiet room with low voices.
  • Limits on photocopying.  No illegal copying is allowed. Further details are discussed in the library's reading room policies:
  • Library staff to inspect personal items and research materials before leaving the reading room.
  • Wonderful things to discover and ignite your curiosity!



Best way to handle Special Collections books


The items in the Nixon Library are much older and more fragile than the books in the circulating stacks. Special handling is required to preserve the integrity of our cultural artifacts.

  • Clean, dry hands are essential.
  • Reading room staff are here to help. Staff will retrieve available materials.
  • Turning pages is best done singularly from the top right corner.
  • Please keep loose papers in order.
  • Please do not flip through the books.
  • Please do not bend, crease, or "dog-ear" pages. Archival bookmarks will be provided.
  • Please do not prop books on their ends or apply pressure to keep open.  Book cradles are provided for support and book snakes provide evenly distributed weight to help keep books open without undue stress.

"Should artfully operate on cataracts..."


Ophthalmodouleia (1583F ) by Georg Bartisch