Research Room Policies

Our collections are free and open to the public, but all users must register prior to entering the research room. Walk-Ins with limited materials requests are welcome before 2 PM if space is available. Due to the high demand for research space, appointments are strongly recommended. Your agreement to abide by the following policies helps us to ensure the long-term security and survival of the unique and valuable materials entrusted to our care by the citizens of North Carolina.

Secure Research Room

  • Researchers may not under any circumstances remove non-circulating collection materials from the research room. Library staff will examine laptops, notes, and other items when researchers exit the research room.
  • Researchers must handle all library collections gently and carefully and keep loose documents in the order they are found. Researchers must abide by the specific guidelines, provided by library staff, on proper handling and safe positioning of loose documents and volumes.
  • No pens, bags, notebooks, or food and beverages (including water bottles) are permitted in the research room. Researchers wishing to bring loose notes into the research room should consult with desk staff. No more than 10 loose pages will be permitted.
  • Pencils, laptop computers, mobile devices on silent settings, and digital cameras with the flash turned off are allowed in the research room. Lockers are provided for researchers’ other personal belongings, including cases for laptops and digital cameras. Complimentary pencils and note paper are available in the research room.
  • Collections materials must be requested for use at least 5 business days in advance. Staff are not able to retrieve items during researcher visits.
  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a registered adult.
  • Closed-circuit cameras are in operation throughout the building at all times.

Checking Out & Making Copies

  • A small number of materials in the North Carolina Collection circulate and can be checked out or requested via Interlibrary Lending (ILL).
  • Researchers on site are encouraged to use digital cameras (including smart phones) without flash to duplicate materials in the research room. Researchers may use their own camera or borrow one from the reference desk. Researchers may not use portable scanners in the research room. Please note that some restricted materials may not be photographed or reproduced in any way.
  • Researchers using microfilm materials have the option of requesting digital or paper copies. Digital copying from microfilm is free, and paper copies cost $0.25 per page. Staff members at the reference desks are happy to assist with both digital and paper copying requests.

Special Circumstances

  • Wilson Library holds a significant number of audio and video recordings. For preservation purposes, listening or viewing copies rather than original recordings are made available to researchers. Please email us at before you visit to inquire whether specific listening or viewing copies are available. . Production of library-use copies can take several weeks depending on the format and condition of the original.
  • Please note that items on exhibit, undergoing conservation treatment, or with exceptional security restrictions may not be available for research. We encourage researchers interested in specific items to send an email to before visiting.
  • We encourage researchers needing consultation with a subject specialist to request an appointment by emailing