Skip to main content

Archives & Special Collections Policies

Using the Archives & Special Collections

  • Food and drink are prohibited.
  • Pencils only are allowed for taking notes.
  • Gloves are provided and may be required.
  • Lockers are provided for patron belongings.
    • Paper, pencil, and laptop (or similar devices) are permitted at the research table.
    • Folders, binders, and all other patron belongings must remain in the locker.
  • Staff will retrieve requested material and will provide one item or box at a time.
    • Please maintain original order of materials provided. This includes folder level or box level materials.
    • Do not place anything on top of materials – papers, folders or boxes – such as, elbows, laptops, books, pencils, magnifiers, devices, etc.
    • Do not take notes on top of archival materials, folders, or boxes.

Other policies

Photocopies, scans, and other reproductions

Reproduction Request Policies

Due to the rare, valuable, and often fragile nature of our collections, staff makes most of the reproductions requested by users. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of our materials due to donor agreements, copyright restrictions, condition, value, and size.

Requests may take 1-2 weeks to complete. In the event a request takes longer than two weeks to complete, staff will communicate with the requestor.

Urgent requests are ones that require a less than twenty-four (24) hour turnaround. Urgent requests must be sent using our correspondence form and will only be designated as urgent upon reply from Archives & Special Collections staff. If staff does not identify the request as urgent then the request will be handled as a regular reproduction request.

We do not require fees to publish or exhibit based on our holdings. However, we require the institution be noted in film credits or bibliographic citations. Examples of preferred citations are located on this page under the heading Citing materials.

A courtesy copy of any subsequent publication is also required for our records.

Reproduction Fee Schedule

Students, staff, current and emeriti faculty, and alumni are not charged for the first $5.00 for a request.

All other researchers are not charged for the first $2.00 for a request.

  • $0.15 per photocopy page.
  • $1.00 per low resolution (under 300 dpi) digital scan at original physical size.
  • $3.00 per high resolution (300 dpi and above) digital scan at original physical size.

Requests for originals exceeding 11”x17”, a large quantity of scans, and digitization of recorded audio/visual materials, may be outsourced at the discretion of the Archives & Special Collections staff and will incur additional fees.

Prepayment is required on all orders. Shipping charges are additional. Cash payment is not accepted.

Pay Charges Online

Some self-service scanning is permitted with assistance provided by library staff. Researchers may take digital images (without flash) at no charge.

Publication & copyright

Regard should be given to common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel when using items in the care of Penfield Library's Archives & Special Collections for publication. Responsibility for obtaining permission to publish rests with researchers and their publishers.

In situations where the issue of copyright ownership is unresolved, the requestor agrees to hold harmless SUNY Oswego and its trustees, officers and agents either jointly or severally from any action involving infringement of the rights of any person or their heirs and descendants in common law or under statutory copyright. Learn more about copyright.

We do not require fees or written permission to publish or exhibit based on our holdings. However, we do ask that our institution be noted in film credits or bibliographic citations.

A courtesy copy of any subsequent publication is also requested for our records.

Citing materials

Please follow your preferred style manual for specifics regarding citation of primary source materials. In general, citations for materials in Archives & Special Collections include the following information and structure:

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], [Collection Number], [Collection Name], [Collection Dates], Archives and Special Collections, Penfield Library, State University of New York at Oswego.


Example from University Archives:

Meeting Minutes April 4, 2016, Box 4, Folder 5, Object ID 2003.117.0001, Faculty Assembly Records, 1963-2018, Archives and Special Collections, Penfield Library, State University of New York at Oswego.

Example from Manuscripts Collection:

Letter from Orsamus Holmes Marshall to his mother, 8 September 1851, Series 1, Box 4, Folder 2, MS 009, Marshall Family Papers, 1762-1908, Archives and Special Collections, Penfield Library, State University of New York at Oswego.

Example from Oswego Digital Library (OswegoDL):

Attention Class! publication image from December 1934 Vocationist, Object ID 2004.030.0121, Oswego Digital Library, Penfield Library, State University of New York at Oswego. (accessed January 25, 2019).
Collection development / donation of materials

The Penfield Library Archives & Special Collections unit is interested in materials that are:

  • directly related to local or SUNY Oswego history, or
  • authored by past or current faculty members.

Materials that are currently or have historically been collected into the University Archives include, but are not limited to:

  • Accreditation Files and Self-Study Reports for the university, schools, programs
  • Annual Reports
  • These document yearly activities and achievements of departments, programs, schools, etc.
  • Blueprints & Maps
  • Bulletins (undergraduate and graduate catalogs)
  • Budget materials, Annual Budgets, Audits 
  • By-laws
  • Correspondence - incoming and outgoing correspondence - relating to activities of the university, departments, schools and programs
  • Class Schedules
  • Course Outlines approved by the faculty 
  • Department and Academic Program Records
  • Annual Reports
  • Course Outlines
  • Course Syllabi, samples of these
  • Minutes of committees and faculty meetings
  • Grant proposals that were successful
  • Reports, publications, brochures related to Dept./Program activities, including staff or students
  • Records about honors and awards given to faculty members
  • Records about honors and awards given by the Departments
  • Records of special gifts to Departments
  • Faculty Scholarly & Creative Works
  • These document professional faculty activity that supports the SUNY Board of Trustees requirements for professional advancement.
  • Final Reports
  • Fundraising campaign literature, promotional material, annual reports of activities
  • Inauguration Materials 
  • Minutes & Agenda
  • These document activity, policy, planning and final decisions of campus and department committees, councils, and task forces
  • Official papers of the presidents of SUNY Oswego
  • Photographs, slides Negatives
  • Including publicity photographs, and other visual documentation of university activities.  Each item should be identified with names of individual(s), subject of pictures, occasion, place, and date
  • Plans, Reports, Feasibility Studies required by various agencies, such as affirmative action plans, official statistical reports, drafts & final report, etc.
  • Public Relations Records
  • Campus publications, selected news releases, and publicity written for the institution.
  • Publications Related to Students, Faculty & University: Handbooks, Directories, Commencement Programs
  • Recruitment Materials: general information, plans and reports
  • Speeches of University Officials
  • Statements prepared for delivery at meetings and other public functions
  • Student Publications: Yearbook, Newspapers, literary magazines, etc.

If you have materials that you think meet this criteria, please see our Donate / Transfer page for more information.