Special Collections Reading Rooms
Reading Room Guidelines
- Follow all DC Public Library customer behavior guidelines during visit.
- No food or drink permitted.
- Cell phone use is not permitted.
- No items can be checked out.
- All bags much be kept on the floor.
- A reserved area in the Washingtoniana Reading Room is provided for users to access the following materials:rare books, maps, clippings and memorabilia files, non-current newspapers and magazines and government documents. Consult with the librarian to request these materials and place all belongings in a locker before entering the reserved area. Personal cameras, laptops, handheld scanners, notes and writing materials are permitted in the reserved area.
- Personal laptops on battery power are permitted in all areas; electrical outlets are provided at designated tables. Wifi is available at all DC Public Library locations.
- Cutting tools are not permitted.
- Please do not reshelve maps, books, or microfilm; place books on reshelving carts; and return current magazines and newspapers to shelving.
Photo & Archives Research Guidelines
Due to enhanced security and preservation needs of items in the archival and photo collections, additional guidelines apply:
- Please register during your first visit.
- Sign log at each visit.
- Place all belongings in a locker.
- Use pencils only; ink pens, markers, etc. are not permitted.
- Wear gloves to handle photographs without plastic sleeves.
- Personal notes, laptops, and writing pads are permitted.
- Personal camera equipment is permitted for on-site camera shoots with permission.
- Personal scanners are not permitted.
- Leave manuscript boxes or folders on cart until ready to review.
- Place only one folder at a time on research table to review.
- Place flag in place of folder you remove from a box to mark for refiling.
- Reproductions and permissions information
- Two photocopiers are in Washingtoniana, one in the main Reading Room and a second in the Photo & Archives Research Room
- One photocopier is in the Black Studies Center
- One photocopier is in the Peabody Room
- Copies are 15 cents per page for black and white, 35 cents per page for color
- Please bring coins or $1 bills for vending machine; credit or copy cards are not accepted
- Three microform readers and six digital microform reader/printers with zoom, high resolution, contrast and other features are in the Washingtoniana Reading Room.
- One read-only microform reader is in the Black Studies Center.
- One digital microform reader/printer is in the Peabody Room.
- Microform readers are for viewing only at no cost.
- Printed scans from the digital microform readers are 15 cents per page; please bring coins or $1 bills for vending machine; scans may also be downloaded to a personal thumb drive or emailed free of charge.
- Local newspapers, various property records, city directories, D.C. census through 1930, certain rare books, etc. are on microfilm or microfiche.