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Using EAL Special Collections

Access to EAL Special Collections

The University of Washington East Asia Library (EAL)’s Special Collections are open to members of the UW community, visiting scholars, and the general public. The EAL Special Collections contains mainly valuable and unique rare books as well as other types of materials that require special security measures to ensure they will be available for years to come. We ask your patience and understanding, as we must balance between making these materials accessible and preserving our rare and fragile collections.

Availability of Materials

All EAL Special Collections materials are non-circulating and cannot be browsed. All materials are housed in secure, non-browsing stacks and are retrieved for users upon request. EAL Special Collections materials are available during the weekday (Monday-Friday) hours when the EAL is open. Some EAL Special Collections materials are also housed in the Suzzallo/Allen Library’s Special Collections department. Those materials are subject to the terms and conditions established by Special Collections. Please check the hours and policies of Special Collections when accessing those materials.

Requesting Materials

Due to staff and facilities constraints, the use of EAL Special Collections materials must be requested at least two business days prior to your visit. To use the collections, visitors must fill out and submit a Special Collections Registration and Request Form to uwlib-ealcirc@uw.edu. You must provide your full name, address, and phone number. All visitors are asked to fill out a Registration and Request Form no matter how brief their visit. Requested materials are made available at the discretion of library staff; requests may be denied based on factors such as availability, condition of the materials, and restrictions.

Handling Materials

Patrons are required to abide by the following rules when using special collections at the East Asia Library:

  • EAL Special Collections materials must be used under the supervision of library staff and may not be removed from supervised areas. The supervised areas are the first two reading tables in the reading room of the East Asia Library.
  • The number of items requested or consulted at any one time may be limited at the discretion of the staff.
  • Handle the materials with extreme care; many are fragile.
  • Food and liquids are not permitted in the reading area.
  • The use of pens is not permitted. Pencils are available and the use of laptop computers is encouraged.
  • You may be required to present all books, papers, and computers to staff for searching before leaving the supervised reading area.
  • No self-service copying of Special Collections materials is permitted. You may take photographs of the materials only without flash. If you have questions about other types of reproductions, please contact library staff.