Frequently Asked Questions
Special Collections are library materials that are housed separately from the general library collection for reasons such as form, subject, fragility, and value. Special Collections materials may not be checked out. Materials within this collection may be photocopied if the Special Collections Librarian feels they are not too fragile.
The Special Collections Unit includes two reading rooms for public use: the Texas Poets' Corner and the Frank M. Blackburn Reading Room. All of the books in these collections have been cataloged and can be found using Cornette Library's online catalog. The University Archives is also part of Special Collections and it houses University records and publications with restricted access. Patrons may ask at the Special Collections Desk to use materials from the University Archives and they will be retrieved for use in the Texana area of the Texas Poets' Corner. Patrons doing research with Special Collections materials must sit in the Texana area of the Texas Poets' Corner. Patrons not using Special Collections materials, but just wishing to read or study, may use the Blackburn Reading Room.
The following is a partial list of the microform Special Collections owned by Cornette Library. Most of these collections do not appear in Cornette Library's online catalog. For assistance, ask at the Special Collections desk.
- Library of English Literature
- Library of American Civilization
- Selected presidential papers
In keeping with Texas Government Code, Chapter 441, Section 186, the primary mission of the West Texas A&M University Archives is to preserve records deemed archival under the University's Texas A&M University System Records Retention Schedule. The University Archives collects, preserves in existing formats, organizes, and provides access (when not confidential) to these historically significant records. The University Archives also collects the personal papers of University administrators, faculty, staff, and distinguished alumni.
West Texas A&M University's Archives is located in the Archives Room on the second floor of Cornette Library. The Archives consists of:
- back years of the University budget;
- minutes of committee meetings;
- The Prairie, the student newspaper;
- The Eternal Flame;
- Le Mirage
- newspaper clippings about WTAMU events;
- some University publications;
- and various other materials from the library and other departments of the University.
Archives materials may not be checked out. Materials within this collection may be photocopied by Special Collections staff, if item(s) are not too fragile. Ask for assistance at the Special Collections Desk.
- Anyone doing research with special collections materials may use the Texas Poets' Corner. Visitors who wish to look at the artwork and exhibits in the Room are also welcome. Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to enter the Reading Room and/or use the collections.
- Special Collections materials must be used in the Casa Magni area of the Texas Poets' Corner, a current registration form must be on file, and you must present a current form of photo-identification.
- No more than two people may use special collections materials at the same time, with the exception of classes booked in advance by instructors. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Visitors will be asked to leave purses, backpacks, briefcases, other containers larger than 9.5" x 6.25", raincoats and overcoats, cutting implements such as scissors, and books and other items not needed for research in one of the lockers provided near the entrance to the Reading Room, before entering. Cameras, tape recorders, and hand-held scanners may be used in the Reading Rooms with the permission of the Special Collections librarian. We are not responsible for personal items left in lockers.
- The following items may be taken into the Texas Poets' Corner: paper, binders and notebooks, pencils (not pens), personal books needed for research, laptop computers, and service animals.
- The Special Collections staff person in the Reading Room is there to assist patrons with their research and to enforce our Reading Room policies. For security purposes the Special Collections staff person reserves the right to check all patrons' papers and books before they leave the Reading Room.
- Group tours of the Reading Room are available, but must be scheduled in advance by calling (806) 651-2208.
|Fall||Monday - Friday||8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.|
|Spring||Monday - Friday||8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.|
|Summer||Monday - Thursday||8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.|
See the Library Calendar for University holidays.
Special arrangements may be made by calling Sidnye Johnson at (806) 651-2209.
The books in the Frank M. Blackburn Reading Room and Texas Poets' Corner have been cataloged and are listed in our library catalog. Most of the material in the University Archives has not yet been cataloged. Ask for help at the Special Collections Desk.
The microform Special Collections have not been cataloged. However, most have printed finding aids. These finding aids are located outside the University Archives room. Ask at the Special Collections Desk for assistance.
- No more than three volumes and one box may be used at a time. Please use only one file from the box at a time and return it to the box before removing another one.
- Please keep documents flat on the reading table and in the order that you found them. The original order of manuscript and any unbound material should be preserved.
- Only pencil and paper may be used to take notes. Please be especially careful not to write on, tear, fold, and/or trace documents. Tracing may cause damaging indentations in rare documents.
- Book cradles and weights are available for use. Please ask at the Special Collections desk for assistance.
- Each item must be returned to the Special Collections staff before leaving the room. Books may be reserved for a limited time by arrangement with a Special Collections staff member.
- Unopened leaves of books will not be cut. Another copy of the book will be provided if available.
- Please handle materials with clean hands. Patrons may be given white cotton gloves to wear when handling certain materials.
- Food and drink are not permitted in the reading rooms.
- West Texas A&M University is a smoke-free institution. Smoking, vaping or use of tobacco products is not permitted in the reading rooms.
All Special Collections materials may only be used in the Texana area of the Texas Poets' Corner. No Special Collections items may be checked out or removed from the Reading Room. Also, Special Collections material may not be borrowed via interlibrary loan. Many of these materials are fragile or rare, and allowing them to check out would involve possible loss or damage. They may, however, be photocopied by Special Collections Staff if the item(s) are not too fragile.
Photocopying may be damaging to Special Collections materials. The handling can be physically damaging, but the light and heat of the copy machine may also add to its deterioration. Researchers should take notes if at all possible rather than request photocopies. Special Collections staff reserve the right to determine whether an item's condition allows it to be photocopied.
You must complete and submit a copy of our "Reproduction Services" form for permission to copy and desired reproduction format. Special Collections staff abide by U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). Copying will be denied if it does not fall within copyright guidelines and permission to copy has not been obtained from the copyright holder. It is your responsibility to secure permission from the copyright holder to reproduce materials. Permission to copy may also be denied due to the condition of the materials, donor restrictions, and/or other legal restrictions.
Once permission has been given, Special Collections staff will photocopy or scan item(s). There is no self-service photocopying or scanning of Special collections materials using library equipment.
Patrons must obtain permission from the Special Collections Librarian to use any personal scanning or copying equipment in the Reading Room.
When copying/scanning is permitted, only one copy per item may be made. Black and white copying is $.10 per page + tax for 8.5" x 11" (letter size) copies and $.15 per page + tax for 8.5" x 14" (legal size) copies. Color copying is $.20 per page + tax for 8.5" x 11" (letter size) copies and $.30 per page + tax for 8.5" x 14" (legal size) copies. Images can be scanned for a fee. Please ask at the Special Collections Desk for information on available recording formats.
Copies will generally be available for pickup at the Circulation Desk after 4:00 p.m. the following business day, except for weekends and University holidays. Copies ordered on Friday will be available on Monday after 4:00 p.m. and copies ordered before a holiday will be ready 24 hours after the Library resumes normal hours.
Copies will be mailed upon special request. A shipping and handling fee may be assessed.
It is your responsibility to comply with all applicable copyright laws. Receipt of photocopies does not convey receipt of copyright. It is up to you to secure permission from the copyright holder to quote or publish from their work.
Cameras, tape recorders, and hand-held scanners may be used in the Reading Rooms with the permission of the Special Collections librarian.
- Special Collections materials must be used in the Texana area of the Texas Poets' Corner, a current registration form must be on file, and you must present a current form of photo-identification.
- No more than four people may use special collections materials at the same time, with the exception of classes booked in advance by instructors. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You will be asked to leave purses, backpacks, briefcases, other containers larger than 9.5" x 6.25", raincoats and overcoats, cutting implements such as scissors, and books and other items not needed for research in one of the lockers provided near the entrance to the Reading Room, before entering. We are not responsible for personal items left in lockers.
- The following items may be taken into the Texas Poets' Corner: paper, binders and notebooks, pencils (not pens), personal books needed for research, laptop computers, cell phones, and service animals.
- The Special Collections staff person in the Reading Room is there to assist you with your research and to enforce our Reading Room policies. For security purposes the Special Collections staff person reserves the right to check your papers and books before you leave the Reading Room.
Permission must be obtained from the Cornette Library to publish unpublished materials from the Library's Special Collections materials. Patrons may address requests to publish in writing to:
Director of Information and Library Resources
WTAMU Box 60748
Canyon, Texas 79016
When submitting a request to publish, please include the following:
- Material to be published including collection name and call number.
- Indicate whether the material is to be quoted, cited, or reproduced in facsimile.
- How is the material to be used: type of publication, title of publication material will appear in and in the case of an article, title of the article, publisher's name, and expected date of publication.
- Nature of the publication. Is it scholarly, popular, commercial, etc.?
If permission is granted, please keep the following in mind:
- You assume all responsibility for any infringement of the U. S. Copyright Code.
- Cornette Library does not grant researchers exclusive publishing rights. The Library reserves its own right to publish material from its collections or give others the right to do so.
- Cornette Library requests a complimentary copy of all publications that include quotations from, citations of, or facsimile reproductions of unpublished materials in its special collections.
- In citing materials, please acknowledge the Special Collections Unit of the Cornette Library in the following way:
"From the [Collection Name] Collection in the Cornette Library at
West Texas A&M University."