Skip to main content
Schedule a Visit Apply Now

Collection Development and Use Policy

Collection Development

The Alabama & Special Collections Room (including the vault) will house materials according to the following criteria:

  1. All materials that are determined to be rare or unique
  2. At least one copy of local histories and biographies
  3. At least one copy of genealogical and local histories of limited printing, this is not limited to Alabama materials
  4. At least one copy of materials that are specific to the history of the University of West Alabama
  5. Signed materials

Collection Use

  • Patrons are required to register once each fiscal year (Oct. 1- Sept. 30) for use of special collection and archival materials. Patrons must sign the guest register daily.
  • The Archivist or Librarian will speak with you regarding your research interest, and will obtain records for you. Patrons are not allowed to pull archival or special collections materials from shelves or cabinets.
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited in the Library and Alabama Room.
  • Briefcases, purses, coats, backpacks, books, and other personal belongings must be placed on the floor beneath the tables or in designated areas. The Library reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before a patron leaves the premises.
  • All archival and special collection materials are non-circulating. All archival and special collection materials must be used in the Alabama Room. Special exceptions may be made for materials from the Alabama vertical file collection for copying purposes.
  • Patrons may work with one box or folder at a time. Please keep materials in their proper order.
  • Patrons should exercise the greatest of care while using the materials by not marking, tearing, or otherwise damaging them, and by preserving their existing order. Materials may not be leaned on, written on, folded, traced over, or handled in any way that may damage them. Be particularly careful not to write on top of photographs, since photo emulsions are sensitive to pressure. For certain materials it may be necessary to wear gloves supplied by the library.
  • Use only pencil when conducting research. Pencils can be provided. Under no circumstances may pens be used with archival or special collection materials.
  • Do not exchange documents or containers with another patron.
  • Please fill out a photocopy request form if you would like copies of Alabama Room archival or special collection materials. Please speak with the Archivist or Librarian about the availability of copy services.
  • The Archivist can arrange copies of photographs. Patrons are required to wear white cotton gloves while doing photographic research; the staff will provide the gloves.
  • Before leaving please replace items in their folder or box.
  • When citing materials, proper acknowledgment should be given to the University of West Alabama, Julia Tutwiler Library, Alabama Room. The suggested form for use in a bibliography is "University of West Alabama, Julia Tutwiler Library Alabama Room," followed by the name of the collection. For example: University of West Alabama, Julia Tutwiler Library, Alabama Room. Ruby Pickens Tartt Collection.

Note: In granting permission to use materials, the University of West Alabama does not waive any proprietary rights in material. The patron takes full responsibility for securing permission from the owner of the copyright or literary right, in event of publication. The patron also takes full responsibility for obeying any privacy or legal regulations regarding the use of records.