It is the responsibility of the researcher to assist in the preservation of library and archival materials.
Many of the resources of the Mennonite Library and Archives are unique and irreplaceable, and care should be exercised to insure access to these materials by future generations.
The visitor is therefore requested to observe the following guidelines:
- Sign the visitors’ register upon entering the library.
- The vault and archives are restricted areas and cannot be entered unless accompanied by a staff member. Also consult a staff member if you desire to use the photograph, art, manuscript, map, slide, oral history and microfilm collections, the genealogical tables, or the vertical file.
- Use materials carefully and preserve the order of papers within boxes and folders.
- Only circulating books in the public stacks may be checked out and used outside the library. No archival materials, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, slides, art work, genealogical tables, vertical file materials, photographs, or rare books may leave the library.
- If you desire photocopies of materials, make arrangements with a staff member to use the copier. You must return photocopied archival items to their original location in their folder after copying.
- All materials should be returned to the circulation desk. Do not reshelve or refile materials.
- Do not write on materials. Use only pencil for taking notes. This insures that the materials will not be marked accidentally with ink. Ink may permanently damage valuable resources. Do not use your fingertip to follow the line of print on materials.
- Consult the archivist or librarian for proper citations for manuscripts, photographs, or other archival materials. See also our citation guide.
- Permission to examine manuscripts is not an authorization to publish them. Researchers who plan eventual publication of their work should inquire concerning restrictions. A free copy should be presented to the MLA of all publications, including theses and dissertations, which rely heavily on the MLA’s holdings.
- Researchers are also responsible for determining copyright status of archival or library materials, where this is relevant to their intended use of the materials. The MLA does not hold copyright to all of the items in the archives, nor are all items in the public domain.