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Archives and Special Collections at Penn State Harrisburg

This guide provides an overview of the resources available from Archives and Special Collections in the Madlyn L. Hanes Library, part of the Penn State University Libraries, at Penn State Harrisburg.

Reference & Research

question markAsk An Archivist

Please Note:  During Spring 2024, the Reading Room of Archives and Special Collections will be open by appointment only on weekdays (Monday-Wednesday).    However, research assistance from archives faculty and staff is still available.  Please contact Heidi Abbey Moyer, Archivist and Humanities Reference Librarian, at, for additional information. 

Penn State students, faculty, and staff may also schedule an appointment with the archivist for one-on-one assistance in finding relevant information for research papers and other projects. Please use the online "Research Consultation Request" form and indicate that you would like to consult with Heidi Abbey Moyer.

Policies logoReading Room and Access Policies

Archival collections may be viewed in the Reading Room only and do not circulate.  Lockers are available at no charge for short-term storage of personal items. Please be prepared to store the following in a locker as they are not permitted in the Reading Room:  bags/purses, coats, large mobile phones, pens, personal notebooks, and folders.  Please also silence any mobile phones or other electronic devices before storing them in a locker.  Pen, food, and drinks (including water) are not permitted in the Reading Room.  Only pencils, notepaper, and a portable device (laptop or a small tablet) necessary for research are allowed in the Reading Room.  

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Handling Archival Materials

When working with archival materials, please handle them with care and leave them in the same order and condition in which they were provided to you. 

Please also adhere to the following specific guidelines:

  • Please wash your hand before you start working with, and after handling, any archival materials.  Avoid using hand creams, lotions, or hand sanitizers in the Reading Room as these can damage collections.
  • Do not use pen or ink of any kind.  Only pencils are permitted for taking notes. 
  • Do not trace, mark, or draw on materials in any way.
  • Do not take notes directly on top of any materials.
  • Do not rest books or other objects on the face or surface of items used.
  • Do not use Post-it Notes or any other adhesive notes on any materials, including photographic prints.  
  • Keep materials flat on tables at all times. Foam book supports and book weights are available to gently hold open tightly bound books or those in fragile condition.
  • Handle loose sheets or book pages by their edges; avoid touching the surface with your hands.
  • When handling photographic prints or negatives, or other fragile materials, gloves must be worn at all times.  Cotton or latex gloves are provided for free to users.

These guidelines are intended to extend the life of materials and ensure for their access to future researchers.  Thank you for assisting us with preserving the materials that are in our care!

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Register as a Researcher

Anyone interested in conducting in-person research with the collections in Archives and Special Collections is required to complete and submit a "Patron Registration Form." Please download and complete the form (PDF version) prior to your visit, or when you visit Archives and Special Collections.

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Reproduction Requests

Permission must be requested from the archivist for any type of photography, copying, or reproduction services.  Reproduction of certain materials may be prohibited because of restrictions imposed by donors, the physical condition of the item, value of materials, or its copyright status.  For approved digital reproductions of materials from Archives and Special Collections, please download and complete the Reproduction Request Form.  

quotes iconCitations

Please use the following format for citing published or unpublished materials from the repository.

Courtesy of the [Collection Name and/or Item Description, Series and/or Subseries, Box Number, Folder Number, Accession Number, if applicable], Archives and Special Collections, Madlyn L. Hanes Library, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University.

Copyright iconCopyright Information for University Teaching and Research

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

An excellent "Fair Use Checklist" can be found here.  For more information about Penn State's policies and guidelines on copyright information, please consult the PSU Copyright Portal