Reading Room Rules

Rules governing the use of ICFA Collections

All researchers must agree to follow the terms below when using the ICFA Collections, and will be asked to sign a registration form indicating such at their first appointment.

  1. Access to ICFA is by appointment only. If researchers also wish to consult the library collections, a valid Dumbarton Oaks Reader’s badge must be obtained. Researchers without a Reader’s badge will be signed in by ICFA staff as a guest of the department.
  2. Researchers must leave all bags, purses, and laptop cases in the lockers behind the security desk.
  3. The following materials may be used in the Reading Room: pencil and paper, index cards, notepads, notebooks, laptop computers, external or USB drives, and digital cameras. The following items are NOT allowed in the Reading Room: pens, markers, highlighters, post-its, envelopes, binders, folders, mobile phones, and paper materials unrelated to research in ICFA.
  4. Archival collections and audio-visual materials may only be consulted in the ICFA Reading Room under the supervision of ICFA staff. Researchers may not browse the shelves; only ICFA staff are allowed to retrieve materials.
  5. Do NOT bend, fold, lean on, mark, or otherwise damage documents or photographs in any way. Archival materials should remain flat on the table at all times. Do NOT remove items from mylar sleeves - they have been encapsulated for preservation purposes.
  6. When handling photographic materials, do NOT touch the surface of the image. Wear gloves and always handle photographs or negatives by their edges.
  7. Keep all material in the order in which it was received - do NOT rearrange items. Use out-cards to mark an item’s place when removing items from boxes. Complete each out-card with a detailed content description and location information to facilitate proper re-filing.
  8. Readers may photograph materials for study purposes under ICFA staff supervision free of charge. They may also elect to make use of ICFA’s photocopying, scanning, or digital photography services. For these services, whether for study purposes or publication, reproduction fees may apply.
  9. Readers may not leave materials unattended and should notify ICFA staff before leaving the Reading Room. Materials may be held for use on a subsequent day and will be re-filed within one month.

For more information about using the ICFA Collections, please review the Reference Use Guidelines.

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Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 to 5 p.m.


Tel: (202) 339-6972
Fax: (202) 625-0279