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Albert M. Greenfield SCRC Reading Room

The Albert M. Greenfield SCRC Reading Room is typically open from 8:30am - 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Hours can be verified prior to your visit by viewing the library hours page.

Any collection of unique material requires special handling. The following policies and procedures are designed to provide you with the greatest possible access to the materials at the SCRC while protecting and preserving those materials for future use.

Special Collections Research Center Access During the Pandemic

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is open to the public by appointment only. In establishing the following policies, we seek to protect researchers and staff as much as possible. Appointment options and procedures may change as university or library policies develop, best practices continue to emerge, and circumstances call for it. We regularly consult the REALM project website for best practices for safe handling and use of archives and special collections materials. We understand that not all researchers may feel comfortable with doing on-site research (see Remote Requests, below). Please contact us if you have any concerns and visit for updates

All regular researcher requirements (see below) remain in effect. In addition:

Before your visit

  • Requests to view materials and for appointments must be made at least 3 days in advance. 

  • Appointments can be made in two hour blocks of time. Successive blocks of time are permitted. 

  • There may be a maximum of 6 researchers in the reading room concurrently. 

  • Walk-in visitors are not permitted.

  • Researchers must create an SCRC Researcher Account before they visit.

  • In order to view materials in the reading room, there is a two step process.  

    • Step one: request materials using your SCRC Researcher Account (for information on making requests see this page).

    •  Step two:  A staff member will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.

  • SCRC staff will email you to confirm that your request has been received and schedule your appointment.  Do not travel to the library if you have not received confirmation from us. 

During your visit

All visitors to the Libraries are expected to abide by the Four Public Health Pillars defined by the university.  If you are not feeling well, please respect everyone’s safety and contact our staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

  • Masks or face shields are required for both researchers and staff during appointments. If a researcher does not have a mask, the security guard on duty at the library entrance will provide a disposable mask while supplies last. If our supply of disposable masks is exhausted, the researcher will not be permitted to enter the building.

  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times during your visit. Please observe any floor markings that indicate safe distances. 

  • In the reading room, you will be assigned a table that is distanced from the staff and other researchers. 

  • Researchers will wash hands in one of the restrooms on the ground floor before entering the reading room. Hand sanitizer and hand lotions cannot be used immediately prior to contact with archival materials or rare books. Gloves cannot be used with most archival materials or rare books. Cotton gloves will be provided by staff for handling photographic materials as necessary.

  • Materials will be placed on a cart for a research visit. Researchers are asked to use only one box or volume at a time.

  • Materials accessed by researchers will be placed in a 72-hour quarantine in a designated space after researcher use during which time those materials may not be accessed by other researchers or staff. Please note that for researchers requesting copies of collection materials, this may result in a 3 or more day delay in receiving copies of requested materials. We recommend researchers bring a smartphone or camera to photograph any materials for which they need copies more quickly. The regular photoreproduction policies apply. 

Remote Requests

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and in accordance with university and city and state safety policies, SCRC is currently operating under a reduced staffing model.  This has impacted all aspects of our public services including responses to reference questions and fulfillment of photoduplication orders.  We will continue to respond to requests as staffing and time allows, but you may experience longer than usual response times.  Please send your requests to https://library.temple.edu/forms/ask-scrcscrc@temple.edu; or call 215-204-8257.  Thank you for your understanding.

Protection, Care and Handling of Materials

  • Food, beverages, and tobacco are not allowed in the reading room.
  • Use only pencil and paper or laptop computer for taking notes. 
  • Use only one box of records or three printed items at a time.
  • Remove one folder at a time from the box. 
  • Maintain the existing sequence of records; if materials within the folder appear to be out of order, please alert a staff member rather than rearranging the folder contents.
  • Handle loose sheets or bound pages by their edges and avoid touching the surface as much as possible.
  • Support the spines of rare or fragile books (using foam supports provided by staff).
  • The staff may furnish gloves for handling photographs and other especially vulnerable items. 
  • Do not take notes on top of archival materials or holding them in ways that will tear, fold, or otherwise damage them.

Administrative Matters

Out of respect for fellow researchers, please silence all cell phones and pagers in the reading room, and take extended phone conversations outside of the reading room. All briefcases, laptop cases, book bags, handbags, books, newspapers, coats, and other personal belongings must be left in the lockers or on the coat rack. Personal materials used in the reading room may be searched when you leave. The reading room is monitored by security cameras at all times.

Returning and Reshelving Material

Before leaving the Reading Room, please return all material to the reference staff. You may ask to have material placed “on hold” for up to two weeks from the last time used.

We appreciate your help in ensuring the long-term preservation of these unique materials.