Answers to common questions about the Special Collections Research Center's collections and services.
- What kinds of materials are in SCRC?
- How can I find SCRC materials related to my research topic?
- How can I use materials located in SCRC?
- I am traveling to Carbondale to do research in SCRC. Where can I find more information on housing or logistics?
- I would like to request copies of SCRC materials. How can I do that?
- I would like to request permission to publish, display, and/or cite SCRC material. How can I do that?
- How do I cite SCRC archival materials?
- I would like to do research at SCRC, but I am unable to travel to Carbondale. What reference and research services are available?
- I would like to donate or transfer materials to SCRC. What do I need to do?
- How do I determine the value of my books?
- I am doing genealogical research. Does SCRC have collections that can help me?
SCRC houses archival collections and rare books. Archival collections are made up of original source material, which includes personal papers, photographs, correspondence, audio and visual recordings, and institutional records. SCRC's archival collections are divided into three collecting areas: Manuscripts, Political Papers, and University Archives. Rare Books include valuable published material on subjects related to our collecting strengths.
ArchivEra provides finding aids for all SCRC archival collections. Finding aids provide extensive information about the scope of and materials in each collection.
Morris Library’s catalog Primo contains records of the rare books held at SCRC archival repositories.
Searching Archon and I-share is an important first step to finding material in SCRC, but you may also contact SCRC staff if you have difficulty finding what you are looking for. Also, see How to Find.
All SCRC materials must be used in the Reading Room, located on the first floor of Morris Library. The Reading Room is open by appointment only. Please email us to plan your visit.
On your first visit to SCRC, you will be asked to fill out a Researcher Registration form and present photo identification. You will also be asked to review and agree to the SCRC Materials Use Policy. On each visit to SCRC, you will submit a request for the material you would like to use by completing a call slip.
For more information on using SCRC materials, please see Visit.
I am traveling to Carbondale to do research in SCRC. Where can I find more information on housing or logistics?
SCRC can provide photocopies or digital scans of most materials. High resolution images for use in publications or presentations can also be provided at an extra charge. SCRC can also create copies of audio and visual recordings. Please be aware that there are charges associated with copies and your request may take several weeks to complete, depending on the size and nature of the material being copied. Please see the fee schedule for more information about charges. Any copied material may be subject to copyright restrictions. Please see our copyright policy for more information.
To request copies, please complete the online Duplication Request Form.
I would like to request permission to publish, display, and/or cite SCRC material. How can I do that?
In general, the selective, limited use of SCRC materials for research purposes and non-commercial duplication is considered “fair use.” Extensive usage or reproduction requires permission from the copyright holder. Although SCRC owns many of the physical materials in its collections, it usually does not own the copyright to these materials. For more information, see Permissions & Copyright.
When citing archival material, please use our preferred citation:
[item], [collection title], Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
I would like to do research at SCRC, but I am unable to travel to Carbondale. What reference and research services are available?
SCRC staff members are happy to answer focused questions about collections and individual items to researchers who are unable to travel to Carbondale. If you need someone to do more extensive research for you, SCRC maintains a list of proxy researchers available for hire. These individuals do not work for SCRC, and you will have to negotiate any charges with them. To ask a reference question or to request a list of proxy researchers, please email or call firstname.lastname@example.org, 618-453-2516.
To donate materials to SCRC, or transfer university records to the archives, please consult our Giving page.
The Society of American Archivists offers general guidance for individuals and organizations considering donating their papers to an archives. See Donating Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository and Donating Your Organization’s Records to a Repository.
SCRC cannot provide appraisal services. Appraisers are experts who usually charge for their services, and fees vary. “Your Old Books,” a guide written by the Rare Books and Manuscript Section of the American Library Association, provides useful information to help determine whether you need a formal appraisal. Many professional appraisers are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, which maintains a member directory that can help you find an appraiser in your area.
SCRC has extensive collections related to southern Illinois history, and genealogists may find pertinent information within these collections using ArchivEra to search for family names and other keywords. Our Rare Books section includes county histories, cemetery records, city directories, and other sources of local history. Also, Morris Library has electronic and microfilm copies of old newspapers that are useful to genealogists. The Illinois Regional Archive Depository (IRAD) is another important resource. IRAD maintains the historical records of local governments and provides research services to genealogists.