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, etc.?
- 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 rare books and archival collections. Archival collections are made up of unpublished material, which includes manuscripts, photographs, correspondence, audio and visual recordings, and institutional records. SCRC's archival collections are divided into three units: Manuscripts, Political Papers, and University Archives. The Rare Book unit of SCRC houses valuable published material related to certain subject areas.
Information about material in archival collections can be found in Archon, SCRC's database of finding aids. Finding aids provide extensive information about the scope of and materials in the collections they describe.
Information about rare books can be found in SIUCat Classic.
Searching Archon and SIUCat Classic 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.
You can also browse information about SCRC materials related to certain subjects from our Subject Guides page.
All SCRC materials must be used in the Reading Room, located on the first floor of Morris Library. The Reading Room is open from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.
On your first visit to SCRC, you will be asked to fill out a Researcher Registration form and present a photo id. You will also be asked to review and agree to the SCRC Materials Use Policy. On each visit to SCRC, you will be asked to submit a request for the material you would like to use.
For more information on using SCRC materials, please see the Visitor Page.
I am traveling to Carbondale to do research in SCRC. Where can I find more information on housing, etc.?
Information on travel planning is available here. It is a good idea to contact SCRC staff prior to your visit, to ensure that the materials you wish to use will be available when you arrive.
SCRC can provide photocopies or PDFs of most materials. High quality 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 24 hours to several weeks to complete, depending on the size and nature of the material being copies. 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 Duplication Request Form.
I would like to request permission to publish, display, and/or cite SCRC material. How can I do that?
Permission to publish, display, or cite SCRC material is provided at the discretion of the SCRC Director. Please be aware that you may need separate permission from the copyright holder in order to publish or display copyrighted material. Charges are associated with publishing and displaying SCRC images; please see the fee schedule for more information.
When citing unique material, please use our preferred citation:
[after identification of item(s)], [Box#], [Collection title], Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, 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 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, you may need to hire a proxy researcher. SCRC maintains a list of individuals who are willing to serve as proxy researchers. 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 send us an email, or contact us by phone at +1-618/453-2516.
Information about donating materials to SCRC, or transferring university records to the Archives, can be found on our Donating and Giving page.
The Society of American Archivists offers good general guidance for individuals and organizations considering donating their papers to an archives.
- A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository
- A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository
SCRC staff members are unable to 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 the history of the southern Illinois region, and genealogists may find pertinent information within these collections.
- Genealogists may try searching Archon for family names or other relevant keywords.
- However, most genealogists will find the collections at the Illinois Regional Archive Depository (IRAD), located off McLafferty Rd, to be more helpful. IRAD maintains the historical records of local governments, and is able to provide research services to genealogists.
- Morris Library also has electronicand microfilm copies of old newspapers that could assist in genealogy.