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University Archives: Access & Copyright

This guide will introduce you to the University Archives at Forsyth Library and serve as a starting point to help you begin your original research.

Access and Handling of Archival Materials


Archival materials are available for research by the Fort Hays State University community and the general public under conditions designed to ensure their preservation and which comply with the requirements of confidentiality, privacy, and legal arrangements with depositors.

Due to the unique and irreplaceable nature of the collections, patrons may not browse the stacks and only Archives staff may retrieve materials. 

All materials are non-circulating and do not leave the Archives.

The Archives Reading Room is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. 

Please call or e-mail ahead of time to set up an appointment or speak with the Archivist on arrival so we can assist you. 

Handling of Materials

  • All materials are non-circulating and do not leave the Archives.
  • Only pencils may be used and will be provided if needed.
  • All materials must be handled with care. Do not fold or damage materials.
  • Nitrile gloves must be used when viewing photographs and handling delicate items. Gloves will be provided if necessary. 
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the Archives.
  • Please speak with staff about the use of cell phones in the Archives. 

Copyright Restrictions

Copyright Notice:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproductions in excess of “fair use”, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Reproduction of Archival Materials

Patrons may request reproductions of materials held in the Archives collections. The patron requesting copies may only use them for private use, teaching, or research purposes.

Copying of archival materials does not give the patron rights to publish the materials subject to copyright. Copyright can only be obtained with the permission of the copyright holder and the Archives. Please note, the Archives does not always hold the copyright to materials in its collections.

Responsibility to obtain copyright permissions from the copyright holder lies with the patron. When copyright permission is obtained, patrons must give acknowledgment to Fort Hays State University Archives, Forsyth Library as the source of the material.

The Archives reserves the right to refuse a copying order if doing so would be in violation of copyright law.

For additional information regarding copyright and unpublished materials, please visit the Society of American Archivists website "Copyright and Unpublished Material: An Introduction for Users of Archives and Manuscript Collections:"