Accessing the Special Collections
Who Can Use the Collections?
Mills students, faculty, staff members, and outside scholars are welcome to use the
Special Collections, including books, manuscripts, and archives. If you are a member
of the Mills community, you are required to present your Mills College photo identification
card in order to check out items for use in the Heller Rare Book Room. If you are
an outside scholar, you will be asked to register with a drivers' license or other
photo identification card.
Materials do not circulate and may not be removed by the patron from the Heller Rare
Book Room for any reason.
Reading Room Etiquette
- Eating or drinking (including water) is prohibited in the Heller Rare Book Room.
- Make sure your hands are clean.
- Use pencil when taking notes (do not use ink). We are happy to loan you a pencil.
- When you are finished with the material, return it to the reception desk. Please do
not leave it on a reading room table or elsewhere. Materials can be held for the patron
How to Handle Materials
- When using a book, support the front board with your hand or another object flat on
the table. Turn the pages with care. Do not slide the book on the table; pick it up
with both hands. Do not handle fragile materials when you are rushed.
- When handling photographs, hold by the edges; do not touch the emulsion with your
- Never put removable sticky notes on Special Collections material. The adhesive leaves
- It is permissible to take photographs of the material for research/reference purposes.
- Scanning material is at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian and will
be done by Special Collections staff. Condition and amount of material are taken into
Copyright & Permissions
Physical ownership of a document or book does not necessarily mean that the library
owns the copyright. Patrons are responsible for requesting permission from copyright
holders when appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our FAQs page for the most common questions about Special Collections and working with these resources.