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Hours & Contacts

Policies & Procedures

* UM-System
* Columbia

Topical Guides

Online Exhibits

* Archival
* General

MU Libraries

The University Archives Reading Room is a shared research space with Special Collections and is located in 401 Ellis Library on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. For location information, please follow this link: How to find us.

The Reading Room is where researchers can view materials they have requested from the various collections held by the University Archives.

In addition to reading tables, the Reading Room provides a VHS and DVD player to allow researchers to view VHS tapes and DVD media found in the collections and a light table to view photographic negatives. Also available to patrons is a 16 mm film viewing table and a microfilm reader.

Researchers wishing to view VHS tapes and 16 mm films may do so only when a University Archives staff member is available to assist the researcher. Viewing times will be dictated by staff availability. We are currently unable to provide viewing access to the other moving image formats (e.g., Betacam, 35 mm film) occasionally found in the holdings of University Archives.

A photocopier is available in University Archives. Photocopies, however, can only be made by Archives' staff. For additional information about photocopying archival material (including cost), please see the following web page: photocopying.

Other resources found in the Reading Room include:

  • A computer with access to the University Archives' online finding aids and collection guides as well as the MU Libraries' online catalog.

  • The Vertical Files that contain reference materials on subjects related to the University Archives' collections. These files can be used for research but are not available for self-service browsing.
    For a list of the folders available in the Vertical File, please follow this link: Vertical File.

  • The most recent publications of the University of Missouri Press that concern the University of Missouri or the State of Missouri.

  • The following reference books and other publications: Please follow this link for a list of reference books and other materials available in the Reading Room.


Please note the following Rules of Use the Reading Room:

  • To use the Reading Room, patrons should have their University or other photo identification available.

  • Before using any archival materials, patrons must sign the Registration Book and read and sign a Rules of Use form.

  • Patrons are asked to familiarize themselves with the guidelines for the careful use of collections laid out in the Rules of Use form.

  • No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room.

  • All personal belongings are to be placed on or near the coat rack.

  • Only paper, pencils, and portable electronic devices are allowed at the reading room tables.

  • Notes should be taken only in pencil so that archival material will not be damaged by ink.

  • The patron is supplied with and must wear white-cotton gloves when handling photographs, negatives, slides, and other materials sensitive to damage from oils and sweat from the skin.

  • Materials must be reviewed in the Reading Room and cannot be checked out.

  • Only one box is allowed on the table at a time.

  • No material will be removed from a file unless authorized by Archives' staff.

  • Individual leaves are to be kept in original order within file folders.

  • All document photocopying will be done by an Archives' staff member.

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Published by: University Archives
Revised: 08 July 2020

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