Special Collections and University Archives is located on the first floor of Carol M. Newman Library. We welcomes visitors from around the world and hope this information will help make your visit more productive and enjoyable!
- Spring 2021: Visiting SCUA By-Appointment
- Before Your Visit
- Directions & Parking
- Guest Internet
Policies/Information for Visiting SCUA By-Appointment
Current conditions mean that operations in Special Collections and University Archives may be a little different than your previous experience, if you have visited us before. Below is information about what to expect when booking a research appointment and what to expect during your visit. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us prior to booking your appointment, as well as asking us when you are on-site. We are happy to walk you through any part of the process.
Face coverings are required to enter and work in the library. By extension, this rule applies to Special Collections and University Archives. If you come to the department and do not have a face covering, we can supply one. For the health and safety of our staff, we reserve the right to deny entry to researchers unwilling to comply with university and library policy.
Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) appointments should be booked online using our seat reservation system.
If you do not use email, please call us at 540-231-6308, leave a voicemail, and our staff will contact you to schedule a research appointment. We are offering appointments Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm (subject to change and availability of staff).
You may book an appointment for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of four (4) hours. When booking, you will be asked for a list of specific materials you wish to view (we recognize that you may need to see additional materials and will be accommodating as possible during your visit). If you do not know what materials you want to review, we will connect you with a staff member who can consult online, via email, or over the phone to help identify materials in advance of your arrival.
You may also request a reference consultation in advance of scheduling your in-person visit by using the "Make an appointment" page and selecting a staff member under "Special Collections," by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by leaving a voicemail at 540-231-6308. Please note: If you email or call us, you may expect a response within one (1) business day.
Appointments to visit SCUA must be booked at least one (1) week prior to your visit to allow our staff planning time to provide access to materials that may be off-site, in quarantine, or otherwise not readily available. Appointments will be confirmed once we have a staff member assigned to manage the reading room. You will also receive a reminder email four (4) hours before your visit. Both emails will include information on cancelling or changing your appointment. If your plans change, even at the last minute, we appreciate your cancelling so we receive a notification.
What to Expect During Your Visit
A Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) staff member will be in charge of the reading room during your visit. Since we are not open to the public, the doors will be locked. Please knock on the front door or call 540-231-6308 if no one is at the desk. Face coverings are required while you are working in SCUA, for the health and safety of our staff. If you are not wearing one, we can provide you with one. We reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who does not comply with university or library policy.
- SCUA has installed plexiglass shields at our reference desk and we ask that you maintain a safe distance.
- We will have hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves available at the desk.
- We will have materials you requested ready for your use on a cart and will ask you to hold your Hokie Passport (if you have one) for scanning. Staff should not have to handle your ID or materials directly. If it is necessary, they will wear gloves.
- You will be permitted to take a laptop and/or notebook and pencil (no pens) into the reading room. Pencils can be supplied if you do not have one.
- You may bring your cell phone into the reading room, but please do NOT take phone calls. If you need to answer or make a call, please exit the reading room and step out into the cafe area.
- Bags must be secured in lockers.
- Food and drink are not permitted in SCUA--water bottles and travel mugs must be left with your bag or on top of the lockers.
SCUA seating is currently limited to no more than four (4) people at a time. During your visit, you will be assigned a table with a chair. Material for your use will be provided on a cart. We ask that you restrict yourself to your table, especially if you are not the only researcher present. Chairs will be placed in a way that maximizes distance. If you need to stand up to view larger items, we ask that you be conscious of other researchers in our limited space. All tables have power for laptops and other devices. Three of the four tables have computers you may use if you do not have a laptop.
A SCUA staff member will be in the reading room during your visit. They will be available to answer questions about materials, retrieve additional materials, and answer any questions you may have about our protocols. They will also be responsible for cleaning spaces before and after your visit. If we have more than one person at a time, staff will clean shared surfaces or equipment between uses.
If you need to leave the department during your visit temporarily, please alert the staff member on duty. You can exit SCUA, but the staff member will need to let you back in when you return.
Materials you have requested in advance will be provided to you on a cart which should remain near the table to which you are assigned. When you are finished with materials, they should be returned to the cart. You are not required to wear gloves while handling materials. If you need additional materials, you should provide the staff member with call numbers or manuscript numbers or ask them for help in identifying materials. They can then pull them for you.
At the end of your visit, please let the staff member on duty know you are finished and leave your cart at your table. We will clean surfaces and move the cart to our quarantine area.
SCUA has a copier/scanner in our reading room for researcher use. You are welcome to use it after checking with the staff member on duty. If we have more than one researcher present, the staff member will clean the copier between users. If you need high resolution scans of materials, speak to the staff member on duty, who can give you information on how to submit a request.
Most of our tables have a computer at them, if you do not have a laptop with you. You are welcome to use the computer at your assigned table, but we ask that you do not use the computer at another table. If you need help with the computer or with finding materials, ask the staff member on duty. Computer accessories, tables, and chairs will be cleaned by staff prior to and at the end of your visit.
We have arranged our space to provide the most distance and safety we can, so we ask that you be considerate of others (both other researchers and staff with offices near the reading room) while you are working in SCUA. Do not move furniture without speaking to the staff member on duty. If the space we have provided you is not sufficient to view the materials you have, please ask the staff member on duty before using additional space.
Please contact us to make arrangements before your visit, in particular if you are traveling from out of town or expecting to use a lot of our materials. If we know your subject interest in advance, materials can be prepared for your arrival, so that you can use your time in Special Collections and University Archives as productively as possible. Please note, materials from our storage facility require at least two business days from time of request for materials to arrive to our Reading Room.
If you will need access to the wireless guest internet for more than 9 hours, a sponsored guest account is required. Please contact us to make the necessary arrangements in advance of your visit.
Special Collections and University Archives is currently only open by-appointment. Information on how to book an appointment and details on our by-appointment policies are on our website.
For Newman Library building hours, view all University Libraries hours.
Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, about 38 miles southwest of Roanoke. Special Collections and University Archives is located on the first floor of the Carol M. Newman Library.
Newman Library address:
560 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Out-of-town visitors are encouraged to stop at the Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center for free visitor parking passes and specific directions to Newman Library. The campus maps website has directions to the Visitor Center, and the Parking and Transportation site has visitor parking information and parking maps.
The nearest visitor parking may be found on the Alumni Mall, and in the Squires parking lot.
The Visitor’s Guide to Virginia Tech has more information about lodging and things to do in Blacksburg.
Special Collections and University Archives is currently open by appointment. Information on how to book an appointment and details on our by-appointment policies are on our website.