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Using The LSU Law Library Archives

An introduction to the unique holdings and policies of the LSU Law Library Archival Collections and a beginner's guide to archival research.

Using the Archives v. Using the Library

Because items in the archives are often one-of-a-kind, the rules for using them are a little different than the regular library.

The biggest differences are:

  • Archival Materials can not be checked out.
  • The shelves of the archives are not open for browsing.
  • Using the archives requires an appointment.
  • A member of the library staff will retrieve the items you need and bring them to you.

Further rules are detailed below.

Materials in the LSU Law Library Archival Collections are available to students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

Steps in Using the Archives

  • FIND the items that you want. Begin by identifying which collection you'd like to see. Then consult the finding aid or ask the archivist about exactly which items from within that collection will be useful to your research.
  • REQUEST an appointment with the archivist to view the items.
  • VISIT the archives to conduct your research. Be sure to be familiar with all of the rules and procedures of using the Archival Collections at the LSU Law Library before your visit.


No materials belonging to the LSU Law Library Archival Collections may be published or exhibited, in whole or in part, without written permission of the Law Library Director. Specific acknowledgement of the LSU Law Library Archival Collections must appear in the printed publication or display. The library requests notification of publication or display and a complimentary copy of the published work.

Requests for permission to publish should be sent to

Photocopies or scans made of archival materials are intended for private research and permission to create these reproductions should not be taken as permission to publish.

All responsibility for possible infringement of copyright law as a result of reproduction and use of these materials is assumed by the applicant. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with laws of libel and literary property rights which may be involved in their use. The LSU Law Library, at its discretion, may deny duplication of materials known to be covered by copyright that it does not own.

Rules of Using the Archives

The following special rules of use have been implemented in order to ensure that these one-of-a-kind materials will be available to researchers for years to come.

  • Archival materials may not be checked out, nor may they be removed from the reading room.
  • Personal belongings will be stored in a secure location during the researcher’s visit. Researchers are permitted to bring pencils, laptops, personal travel scanners, paper for note taking, and phones into the reading room. No pens, markers, or highlighters are permitted in the reading room.
  • Please wash (and dry) your hands before touching any materials. Patrons may be asked to wear protective gloves if deemed necessary by the archivist.
  • Researchers must exercise all possible care to prevent damage to materials. They are irreplaceable.
  • No food or drink of any kind is allowed in the archives reading room.
  • Documents should be maintained in the exact order they are arranged in each file. If a document appears to be out of order, the researcher should notify the Archives staff. Do not attempt to move or rearrange documents yourself. Remove only one folder from a box at a time.
  • Make no marks or erasures on any document. Use the strips provided for marking pages to be copied.
  • Researchers are permitted to take photos (without a flash) of materials with their own cameras/phones.
  • Due to special preservation issues when handling and photocopying and scanning archival material, all photocopies and scans are made by the Archives staff.  The Library reserves the right to deny copy requests based on issues related to copyright, preservation, or other factors. Photocopies/digital scans are available for a charge of $0.15 per page (+ $2.00 handling/postage fee when applicable).
  • Requests for materials will not be accepted after 3:00 p.m.
  • Researchers may handle no more than one archival container at a time.
  • All permissions needed for publication are the researcher’s responsibility.

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