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Library Policies


The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the University Archives is open to lay and processional researchers by appointment from Monday-Friday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM, except on university holidays. The following procedures help preserve the material in the collections for future generations. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated. 

  1. The P.I. Nixon Library Reading Room is reserved for those using materials from the Special Collections. Rare books and archives may not be checked out or removed from the Reading Room. 
  2. All patrons must register with the Special Collections staff and complete and sign a Research Agreement. Picture identification is required. 
  3. Special Collections materials may be used only under supervision of Special Collections staff, who will assist patrons in identifying material to be reviewed and who will retrieve requested material for patrons. 
  4. Library staff must be present in the Reading Room during the use of archival materials and rare books. Please notify Special Collections staff when you arrive and return materials to staff when you leave. 
  5. Appointments are required if specific materials are requested, staff need to know in advance as some materials are stored in remote locations. Call 210-567-2470 or email to make an appointment. 
  6. No bags, brief cases, purses, notebooks, folders, binders, coats, or other personal property are allowed in the Reading Room. These should be given to Special Collections staff for safe keeping and will be returned when materials are turned back in. Personal computers are permitted, but computer carrying cases must be placed with staff. 
  7. Use only pencil or personal computers for taking notes. No other writing implements or markers are allowed in the Reading Room during materials use. Do not mark materials in any way or fold pages. 
  8. Only loose sheets of paper are allowed in the Reading Room for note taking and will be provided by staff. PostIt™ Notes are not allowed. Patrons must present all material to Special Collections staff for checking prior to departure. 
  9. Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Room or the Howe Conference Room.
  10. Unless special arrangements are made beforehand, no more than 2 books and/or 2 manuscript boxes will be retrieved at a time. No items will be retrieved after 4:30 PM. 
  11. Cameras are welcome, but flash photography is not allowed. Photography must be supervised by Special Collections staff and permission must be obtained for publication or reproduction of any Special Collection materials. 

Archival materials and rare books must be handled with great care. Staff will monitor the use and handling of materials at all times. Proper handling guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • Handle papers one at a time, using both hands for support, and stack papers carefully. Do not pick up a stack of papers and tap them on the table to straighten them. If a document is in fragile condition, please request assistance from a staff member.
  • Do not make any marks, erasures, or any other changes on a document.
  • Keep all items on the table while being used. Place nothing in the lap or propped against the table. Staff can provide book cradles or supports for better viewing of books.
  • Place nothing on top of archival materials or books. Do not write on top of, fold anew, or trace materials.
  • Turn pages slowly and carefully, touching only the margins if possible.
  • Wear the cotton gloves provided when handling photographs and wash hands prior to handling rare books.
  • Notify staff if you notice any irregularities or incongruities in the description of the material and the actual material, or if you notice damaged materials.

Tours of the Nixon Library can be arranged. We welcome groups!

Note regarding copyright and digitization

Staff will digitize or photocopy a portion of text for patrons. Some materials cannot be copied due to their condition or other restrictions. Materials larger than 11"X17" will not be photocopied. Photocopies or digitization may be ordered at the time of visit and should be ready within 24 hours. There is not charge for Health Science Center personnel. Non-UT Health Science Center users will be charged 25 cents per photocopy or $25.00 per picture digitized, collected in advance. Fees may be charge for digitization of other materials, depending on the purpose and the amount of materials requested. 


Please note that access to the collections of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the University Archives does not imply permission to copy, quote, publish, or otherwise make public use of any part of the collection. The researcher assumes the responsibility to secure such permissions, including permission from the UT Health Science Center Libraries, prior to use.