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Artists' Books

Works of art inspired by the form or function of the book


Care and Handling of Special Collections

Reading Room Guidelines for Archives and Special Collections

Archival materials and special collections, by their very nature, are unique and irreplaceable. To ensure that materials are not damaged, lost or removed, please adhere to these simple guidelines while in the Reading Room.

Access and Requests

Materials are housed in secure storage vaults that are only accessible to Archives staff. While items can’t be put on hold or checked out, they can be viewed in the Archives Reading Room by appointment during Reading Room hours. Please contact us at to arrange your visit, indicating the specific items required to allow staff time to pull materials before your arrival.

Personal Belongings

Coats, bags, umbrellas, and backpacks must be hung up.

Eating or Drinking

No food or beverage of any kind (regardless of container) may be consumed in the Reading Room.

Handling Material

Please respect the fragile nature of the materials by following the handling directions of Archives staff. Use only pencils to take notes or a laptop/tablet. No pens are allowed. Tracing is not permitted.

  • Use of materials: You may examine one box of archival documents at a time. Return that box before getting another one. Depending on the size and complexity, the number of artists’ books or other material that can be viewed at one time is at the discretion of Archives staff.
  • Handling: Hands must be freshly washed, without hand sanitizer or lotion.  Paper materials should be handled as little as possible. Turn the pages slowly one at a time, with fingers touching the non-text areas as much as possible. If you need to mark your place, please use the file markers provided. Don’t stack materials or rest anything on top of them.
  • Archival material: Please maintain the exact order of folders in a box and of items within a folder. Remove only one folder at a time from an archival box, and don’t remove materials from the folder. If you suspect a mistake in arrangement, call it to the attention of the Archives staff. Don’t rearrange the materials yourself.
  • Artists’ books and other collections: Books or other materials should lay flat on the table or in a book cradle. If a book doesn’t lay flat, it may be the design of the binding. Please don’t force it open. If an item is in a box, note how it’s arranged as you remove it; if you can’t safely return the item to the box, please ask for help from staff.

Permissions and Reproduction

Use of archives and special collections materials must be aligned with rights and responsibilities outlined in the Copyright Act and MacEwan Copyright Guidelines. Use of certain archival materials may be subject to donor restrictions.

Self-service copying is not available. Archives staff will work with researchers regarding the reproduction of records. Requests for photocopying of textual materials or the scanning of photographic materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be authorized if there are no access or use restrictions (privacy-protection legislation, copyright law or donor agreements) and if the records are physically able to withstand copying. 

The Archives will conduct a limited amount of copying on behalf of researchers, and reasonable fees will be charged for this service.

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras are allowed in the Reading Room. You may not use tripods, scanners, camera flashes, or special lighting. As with photocopying, reproduction of material may be subject to privacy-protection legislation, copyright law or donor agreements. Photos may be taken only for the personal use of the researcher.

Acknowledgement of the Archives

Keep detailed notes of the sources you consulted. Archival or special collections sources should be acknowledged in all publications or presentations. A full citation should include the name of the archives, a title or description of the item, date, format, accession number, box and file number. You may also choose to simply credit the archives using the following format:
MacEwan University Archives, Accession No._______

Public Access Computer

The public access station in the Reading Room is for accessing the Library catalogue and conducting archival or special collections research only.

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