Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Getting Started with Registration and Research

Requesting Materials and Using the Collections

Collaborating on Research and Instruction

Requesting Reproductions

Managing your Account and Troubleshooting

 

General Questions

What collections are available at The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries?

The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries consist of three different special collections departments: The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Each of the three departments in the Special Collections Libraries have specific emphases for collecting that are based on topical and/or format characteristics. 

What are The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries hours of operation?

  • The Special Collections Exhibit Galleries featuring items from the collections of the Hargrett, Russell, and Brown Archives are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
  • The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and on Saturdays from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. No requests for items in the high density storage vault are processed after 4:15 P.M.
  • The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. No requests for items in the high density storage vault are processed after 4:15 P.M.
  • The Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection is open by appointment only. For information regarding how to schedule an appointment using material from the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, contact Ruta Abolins (abolins@uga.edu)

Where is the University of Georgia Special Collections Library located?

The University of Georgia Special Collections Library is located at 300 South Hull Street Athens, Georgia, on the corner of Hull and Waddell Streets.
Visit the Directions and Maps page for more information.

Where can I park when I visit the University of Georgia Special Collections?

Visitor parking is available in the Hull Street parking deck. Enter at the south entrance near Baxter Street and take a ticket. Before leaving the Special Collections Libraries, present your ticket at the security desk located in the lobby and sign for a token. There is no parking attendent so you must have a token to exit. Handicapped parking is located on Level 3 of the deck as well as a pedestrian bridge connecting the parking deck to the quad in front of the Special Collections Library. For more information, please visit the Parking section of our website.

Please note: UGA faculty, staff, and students who have parking privileges elsewhere on campus will be ticketed if they utilize visitor parking in the Hull Street Deck.

Extra visitor parking is offered at the Tate Center Parking Deck for an hourly fee. All University of Georgia affiliates must abide by parking regulations set forth by UGA Parking Services. For more information about visitor parking, please visit the Parking Services website or call 705-542-PARK (7275).

Is the University of Georgia Special Collections Library accessible via public transportation?

Access to the UGA Special Collections Libraries is via public transportation through UGA Campus Transit. The East-West Route stops by the building on Hull Street and runs from 6:30AM – 1:00AM. Other UGA buses on the Orbit, Family Housing, Milledge Avenue and Health Sciences Campus routes can be accessed one block east at the corner of Lumpkin and Wray Streets. The Milledge Avenue bus can be accessed one block north of the Special Collections Libraries on the corner of Broad and Hull Streets.

Athens Transit has several bus stops near, but not adjacent to, the Special Collections Library. The stops are on Broad Street, Baxter Street, and Lumpkin Street. The Multi-Modal Transportation Center, where all Athens Transit buses stop, is located 0.8 miles from the building and is an estimated 15 minute walk.

Where can I find lodging information about visiting Athens for a research trip?

The closest hotel to the Special Collections Library is the Athens Holiday Inn. Information about this hotel and others nearby is available at the Athens Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Web site.The Georgia Center Conference Center and Hotel is located on the campus of the University of Georgia.

Scholars visiting campus for longer than one week may apply for discounted lodging at the UGA Health Sciences Campus (with bus service to the UGA main campus). For more information on accommodations, rates, and how to apply, please visit Visiting Scholars Housing (administered by the University Housing department). Please note that scholars must have a UGA departmental sponsor to procure housing; contact the UGA Special Collections Libraries at sclib@uga.edu to discuss your research trip and housing application.

I am unable to visit special collections to perform research. How should I proceed?

Please contact Special Collections at sclib@uga.edu or 706-542-7123 for a list of researchers in the Athens area who are available for hire. Please note that while we provide a list, we do not vet or endorse any specific person. Also, the Special Collections Libraries will not participate in any financial arrangements between you and those whom you may hire to work on your behalf.

I am performing research on behalf of another researcher who is off-site. How should I proceed?

Register for a Special Collections Research Account if you do not already have one. Once registered, you will receive an automatic confirmation message. Please respond to this indicating that you are doing research for another patron. The patron should register online for their own Special Collections Research Account, thus enabling staff to link the accounts so that they may request materials for you and pay for duplication of materials, such as scans and photocopies. Please note that while the Special Collections Library staff will be happy to connect patrons with local researchers for hire, we do not vet or endorse any specific person. In addition, the Special Collections Library will not participate in any financial arrangements between researchers and those whom they may hire to work on their behalf.

Is there a fee to use the University of Georgia Special Collections?

The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries do not charge admission fees to use their respective collections.  There are fees for reproduction and publication that may apply and donations are always welcome. 

Do I have to be affiliated with the University of Georgia in order to use collections at the University of Georgia Special Collections Library?

All visitors who can complete a registration form, produce photo identification, and agree to abide by the policies and procedures established by the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries governing access and use to materials are welcome to use collections there.

Do I need an appointment to conduct research at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries?   

Although an advance appointment is not required to do research, the process for requesting materials will be more efficient and streamlined if you browse/search materials in advance via the databases and catalog portals available for the three departments.

Is the University of Georgia Special Collections accessible for those with disabilities?

All areas of the Special Collections Library are wheel chair-accessible. Handicapped parking is located in the Hull Street parking deck on Level 3.  If you have other disabilities or special needs, please contact the facilities manager for assistance and information.

How can I contact staff at the University of Georgia Special Collections?

Please contact us at sclib@uga.edu or call 706-542-7123. Please consult our staff directory for individual faculty and staff contact information.

Do you hire students to work at the Special Collections Libraries or accept interns or volunteers?

All three special collections departments regularly employ student workers. For more information on how to apply for a job, please visit the UGA Libraries Student Employment page.

Can University of Georgia groups or individuals reserve a room at the University of Georgia Special Collections Library for a University-related event?

Contact the Special Collections Building Facilities Manager’s Office at tpennell@uga.edu or 706-542-6331 for information related to reserving and using space in the building for University related events or programs. For information about our rental policies, available rooms, and associated fees, please visit the Facilities section of our website. 

What is the difference between the Media Department and the Media Archives?

The Media Department holds the collection of commercially distributed audio and visual materials (sound recordings, videos, DVDs, laserdiscs, etc.). It is located in the basement of the Main Library on Jackson Street. The Media Archives holds original archival audio and visual collections (including the Peabody Awards entries, the Georgia Folklore Collection, the Richard Nixon/Frank Gannon interviews, among others) and is located in the Russell Special Collections Libraries Building on Hull Street.

I have an old book (or baseball card, manuscript, painting, cartoon, antique object, miniature book, etc.). Will you tell me how much it is worth?

UGA Special Collections Libraries staff are prohibited from appraising items. Qualified appraisers can be found by checking your local telephone directory or online at the American Society of Appraisers website.

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Getting Started with Registration and Research

What is a Special Collections Research Account?

A Special Collections Research Account is an online account that allows you to request material from all three special collections departments as well as make requests for photocopies, scans, and copies of audiovisual material. By having a Special Collections Research Account, you can also maintain a list of your past requests and make special requests for events like classes and group projects.

How will my Special Collections Research Account make my work easier and more efficient?
Once you are registered, special collections' staff will be able to approve requests and retrieve materials more efficiently. You will be able to watch the progress of each request to determine if an item has been retrieved, put on hold, or returned to storage. You can also store all request information in your profile for future review of citation information regarding materials consulted in special collections.

How is registration for UGA-affiliated users different from non-affiliated users?

If you are affiliated with UGA (current UGA students, faculty, and staff with a MyID account), you can login with your MyID.  If you are not affiliated with UGA you must create your own account using your own email address as your username and a unique password.

Why do I need a username and password to use my Special Collections Research Account?

Your username and password allows us to give you secure access to information about your requests. You can also edit your own personal information. Your password also can be anything you like as there are no requirements regarding special character or numerical usage nor length. We recommend that you follow good security practice and choose a password that is different from those you use to access other systems. However, no one but you will know your password, not even the special collections staff. The password you set is stored encrypted.

What if I forget my password?

From the Special Collections Research Account logon page, click on “Forgot Password”. On the Forgot Password page enter your username, and then click “Reset Password”. An email with a link will be sent to the email address you used when registering for a research account. By clicking on the link in the email, you can reset your password. If you need help, please contact staff at 706-542-7123 or sclib@uga.edu.

What Web browser should I use?
You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferably cascading style sheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?
Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your requests, you can take the following steps:

  • Access your research account only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  • Access your research account from a public workstation in the Special Collections Building. Staff supervises these computers.
  • When using a public access workstation exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the Back button from accessing the pages you were using.

Why does my browser say that you are sending a cookie? What is in it?
The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to access your account without any problems.

Who has access to my private information and requests?
The UGA Libraries Special Collections Research Accounts are part of a secure system produced by and housed on the servers of Atlas Systems. Neither the University of Georgia nor Atlas Systems will release your personal information or any information about your requests according to laws governing privacy and confidentiality in effect in Georgia and the United States.

I already gave the library my personal information when I filled out a paper application on a previous visit. Why do I need to create this account?

With the implementation of the research account system, you will create and manage the information in your account. This will ensure that your records remain as current and as accurate as possible.

Will I still receive personalized attention in special collections?

Yes, staff in the three departments of the Special Collections Library remain dedicated to providing exemplary research services tailored your needs and interests.

May I request photocopies, digital scans, and user copies of audiovisual materials through my Special Collections Research Account?

Yes, please consult the area of this FAQ titled Duplication Requests

How do I order copies of audiovisual materials?

Please consult the area of this FAQ titled Duplication Requests.

Will all special collections researchers need to have a Special Collections Research Account, and why?

Yes, you will need to create a research account in order to request materials from the collections either offsite in advance of your visit, or onsite as you initiate research. The research account allows us to ensure the long term preservation and access of materials through via statistical evidence. The research account also allows us to be responsive to your evolving needs and interests.

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Requesting Materials and Using the Collections

I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Can I get general reference help with my research topic at the University of Georgia Special Collections?

Please visit the reference desk, located on the third floor of the Special Collections Library, for help developing and refining your topic.  You may also submit a general email query to sclib@uga.edu, talk with staff via telephone by calling 706-542-7123, or fill out the online Special Collections Reference Request form.

How can I arrange an individual research conference with an archivist or librarian at the University of Georgia Special Collections?

Each of the three special collections departments has archivists available to provide research conferences. To arrange a conference, please submit an email request to the appropriate departmental email contact:

Do I need an appointment to have a research conference with an archivist or librarian?

You do not need an appointment to have a general reference conference with staff at the UGA Libraries.  You may come to the reference desk during normal business hours and an archivist on duty there will work with you.  If you wish to consult with a specific staff member, please make an appointment with them at least 24 hours in advance.  Please note that special collections staff do not monitor email accounts after hours and will respond to requests during regular hours of operation.

How many items may I request at a time?

You can request an unlimited number of materials; however, a limited number of materials will be provided for use at one time in the reading room (typically 6 record center boxes or 10 document boxes) due to limited space. Once you are finished with one cart of material, another will be retrieved.

How long is my request information kept?

The UGA Libraries will retain your requests and information on a permanent basis for statistical, administrative and security purposes.

How should I make additional requests for materials when on site at the University of Georgia Special Collections?

There are two ways to make requests when researching onsite. Log on to your Special Collections Research Account and request material as you would from your home or office using your personal laptop computer and local Wi-Fi; or staff in the reading rooms or at the main reference desk will be happy to assist you in making a request from a UGA computer workstation.

 I am trying to request material but I do not see the "Request Item" button where I found the material listed (GILFind, Finding aids databases, etc…)

If the “Request Item” checkbox is not available for material listed in a finding aid, please consult the reference or reading room staff for further assistance. If the “Request to Use at Special Collections Libraries Building” link is not available in GIL or the button labeled Request is not available in GilFind, check the location listing. Locations used in the catalog for the Special Collections Building include the name of the department with which the material is associated. If the location name does not have Hargrett, Russell, Rare Books or Media in it, make sure it is not available at the Main Library or the Science Library.

Can I check out item from the Special Collections Libraries, or must I use them within the department?

None of the items in the Special Collections Libraries are allowed to leave the research area with the exception of select Russell Library oral history transcripts, which are available through Interlibrary Loan. Contact the department for more details.

How do I know which room to go to receive my requested materials?

Each Special Collections department has a dedicated space for the use of its materials. If you request material from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, you will use the Montgomery Reading Room (located through the doors by the reference desk at the end of the hall). If you request material from the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, you will use the Russell Research Room, which is located through the doors by the reference desk and to the right. Material from the Brown Media Archives can be viewed by appointment and you will use screening rooms located through the doors by the reference desk and to the left. Reference staff will show you where to go when you arrive.

Do I have an assigned seat in the reading room or may I sit anywhere?

You may choose any seat/research table you prefer and that is appropriate for viewing the materials that you request. Please do not move chairs so that you are facing away from the reading room attendant.

May I just take my boxes off a cart when they come up?

Once the boxes you requested arrive in the reading room, the staff member at the desk will alert you and check out boxes to you one at a time.

What happens to my materials if I have not finished working with them by the end of the day?

If you plan to return within five working days to continue using materials, please alert the staff member on duty at the desk in the reading room. They will note the date of your anticipated return accordingly in the system. If you do not return within that time, your materials will be re-shelved. However, past material requests in the Special Collection Research Account can be copied and re-submitted without having to enter the same information again.

Who should I see if I have a problem? For example, I did not receive the right boxes, or the material appears to be out-of-order or missing?

Bring problems to the attention of the reading room staff. In the case of improperly arranged/identified material, please help us by writing a brief explanation of what you believe needs correction. This information will be invaluable for the archivist who will examine the material later and make appropriate changes.

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Collaborating on Research and Instruction

What is an “event” in the context of the Special Collections Research Account System?

Within the Special Collections Research Account, the term “event” means a class, exhibition, or other project that takes place outside of the Reading Rooms, but which makes use of special collections materials. If you are an instructor who would like materials pulled for a class visit rather than personal or professional research, please contact a staff member regarding creating a class event for you. Once it is created, you can make requests for class use.

Whom should I contact if I want to create a Special Collections Research Account event?

For class events involving material from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, contact Chuck Barber at chuck13@uga.edu. To create a class event using material from the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, contact Jill Severn at jsevern@uga.edu. To create an event using material from the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, contact Mary Miller at mlmiller@uga.edu.

Can I reserve a room for a class meeting?

There are several classroom spaces in the Special Collections Library that may be reserved for classes using materials from the Special Collection Library collections as part of the class session or course. To schedule a class using material from the Hargrett Library, contact Chuck Barber at chuck13@uga.edu; to schedule a class using material from the Russell Library, contact Jill Severn at jsevern@uga.edu; to schedule a class using material from the Brown Media Archives, contact Mary Miller at mlmiller@uga.edu. For more information on utilizing classroom spaces for other kinds of classes and events, contact the facilities’ manager to learn more at 706-542-6331 or tpennell@uga.edu.   

Is there space for individual or group study available in the University of Georgia Special Collections?

Informal study space is not available at the Special Collections Libraries; however, this type of study space is available nearby at the Miller Learning Center or the Main or Science Libraries.

How can I arrange an archival instruction session with an archivist or librarian at the University of Georgia Special Collections in association with course I am teaching?

To schedule an archival instruction session involving material from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, contact Chuck Barber at chuck13@uga.edu. To schedule an archival instruction session involving material from the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, contact Jill Severn at jsevern@uga.edu. To schedule an archival instruction session involving material the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, contact Mary Miller at mlmiller@uga.edu.  If you would like to schedule a session that includes more than one of these departments, please be sure to mention this in your request message.

Will I be able to request materials for my students to use for class projects?

Students who will be using materials outside of class meeting times should register as patrons and request materials from their own accounts.

If I'm bringing the same class to special collections several times in one semester, is each class meeting a separate event or is the entire semester course a single event?

Each class visit will be a separate event even if it is part of an ongoing class or project.

Will my collection material requests for a class visit be fulfilled automatically?

Requests for material will not be fulfilled automatically. If you are working directly with a staff member to plan the class, contact that staff member to inform them that you have submitted your requests. If you are managing the class on your own, please notify circulation staff by contacting the reception desk at 706-542-7123.

Do I have to come into the Reading Room to submit my requests for a class session?

Following an initial consultation with Special Collections Library staff, you may select materials for a class event from off-site using your Special Collections Library research account.

Can more than one person make requests for an event?

Instructors and their teaching assistants may make requests for a class event. Students enrolled in the class may not make requests for class events, but may register and request materials via their own research accounts for their specific research purposes.

Do I have to enter everything all over again if I want to repeat a class in a future semester?

No, you do not have to create your event request again for a different semester. Special collections staff can clone the event within the Special Collections Research Account System.

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Requesting Reproductions

Are there any restrictions on what I can request to be copied?

Copyright considerations, condition of materials, agreements with donors, and staff resources all govern the extent to which materials may be reproduced. In general, staff will not copy entire manuscripts, oral histories, audiovisual materials, or published work in their entirety. Permission to copy materials in the Special Collections Library is not permission to publish or reproduce said materials for any purpose. 

May I bring my digital camera into the reading room?

The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library allows patrons to use personal digital cameras in the reading with prior written permission. Please contact Chuck Barber at chuck13@uga.edu or 706-542-0669 for permission. The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies does not allow personal digital cameras in the reading room.

How do I request photocopies of materials?

Photocopies are $.25 each. Public copiers are not available as special collections staff execute all photocopy requests.
Onsite: To request photocopies of material, please

  1. fill out a photocopy request form available from the reading room attendant in the reading room. This request will ask for your name, the collection name and box number as well as a brief description of the items you wish to have copied.
  2. Mark the items you wish to have copied using the red and green sheets of paper available in the reading room. Place a green sheet vertically (so that it sticks up from the folder) in front of the item you wish to have copied. Place a red sheet vertically behind the last item you want copied. If there are multiple items in the same folder that you want copied, please mark each with red and green sheets.
  3. When you return the box to be checked in by reading room staff, submit your copy request form to them. They will create a copy request in the Research Account System and provide an estimate of cost and time required to fulfill the request.
  4. Your completed photocopies will be available at the front reference desk for pickup and payment.

If you are offsite, please contact:

How do I request digital scans of materials?

Digital scans are $12.00 each plus $5.00 for each CD/DVD used for shipping. Digital downloads are also available for $12.00 each.
Onsite: To request scans of material, please

  1. fill out a scanning request form available from the reference desk in the reading room. This will request will ask for your name, the name and box number of the collection you are using as well as description of the items you wish to have scanned.
  2. Mark the items you wish to have copied using the red and green pieces of construction paper available in the reading room. Place a green sheet vertically (so that it sticks up from the folder) in front of the item you wish to have scanned. Place a red sheet vertically behind the last item you want scanned. If there are multiple items in the same folder that you want scanned, please mark each with red and green sheets.
  3. When you return the box to be checked in by reading room staff, submit your scan request form to them. They will create a scan request in the Research Account System and provide an estimate of cost and time required to fulfill the request.
  4. You may pay for and pick up the items onsite by visiting the reference desk at the Special Collections Building. You may also request to receive materials by mail or via digital download.  Please indicate your delivery preferences at the time that submit your request.

If you are offsite, please contact:

How do I request copies of audiovisual materials?

For information about copies of audiovisual materials from the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, please contact Ruta Abolins, Director.

For information about copies of audiovisual materials from the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, please contact Christian Lopez or Callie Holmes.

What are the costs for copies of audiovisual materials?

Please consult the online fee schedule used by both the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection and the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies for information regarding costs for copies of audiovisual material.

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Managing Your Account and Troubleshooting

How can I submit a question or concern about my patron account?

Please submit any questions, comments, or concerns regarding your patron account here. A staff member will review your question and be in touch as soon as possible.

When I am no longer affiliated with UGA, do I need to reregister?

Your former status with the University of Georgia dictates what needs to be changed in your account. If you are a student, you can change your affiliation to alumni. If you are a staff or faculty member who has moved to another institution, you must re-register as a non-affiliated researcher. If you have retired from The University of Georgia, you still retain your affiliation and do not need to change anything.

How can I access information about my requests?

Log on to your Special Collections Research Account and click on the sidebar link that says “Request History” to review all of your past requests.

I made an error in my request, but I already submitted it. How do I go back in and fix it?

If you made the request from offsite, please contact the reference staff at 706-542-7123 or sclib@uga.edu to alert them. If you submit a request while visiting the Special Collections building, please let staff at the reference desk or in the reading room know and they will cancel it so that you can create a new one.

What if I forget my password?

From the Special Collections Research Account logon page, click on “Forgot Password”. On the Forgot Password page enter your username, and then click “Reset Password”. An email with a link will be sent to the email address you used when registering on special collections research account. By clicking on the link in the email, you can reset your password. If you need help, please contact the Special Collections Libraries staff at sclib@uga.edu or 706-542-7123

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