Staff provides assistance with research in its collections but is not able to do research for patrons. Queries are recommended before an on-site visit. See Visiting Special Collections for more information.

Limited outlets are available for laptops.

Guidelines for Using Special Collections

  • Food and drink are prohibited.
  • Pencils only are allowed for taking notes.
  • Gloves are provided and may be required.
  • Lockers are provided for patron belongings.
    • Paper, pencil, and laptop (or similar devices) are permitted at the research table.
    • Folders, binders, and all other patron belongings must remain in the locker.
  • Staff will retrieve requested material and will provide one item or box at a time.
    • Please maintain original order of materials provided. This includes folder level or box level materials.
    • Do not place anything on top of materials – papers, folders or boxes – such as, elbows, laptops, books, pencils, magnifiers, devices, etc.
    • Do not take notes on top of archival materials, folders, or boxes.

Photocopies, Scans, and Other Reproductions

Due to the rare, valuable, and often fragile nature of our collections, staff makes most of the reproductions requested by users; some self-service scanning is permitted with assistance provided. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of our materials due to donor agreements, copyright restrictions, condition, value, and size.

For more information regarding how to order photocopies, digital images, and other reproductions, please contact us using our correspondence form or stop by our Research Room, located on the Lower Level of Penfield Library.

Reproduction Fee Schedule

  • Standard photocopy (letter and legal size): $0.15 / side.
  • Copy from microform: $0.15 / side.
  • Digital image: $0.15 / print image.
    Maximum size 8 by 10 inches.

Fees are waived for all SUNY Oswego Faculty, Staff, and Students.

Pre-payment is required on all orders of $10.00 or more. Shipping charges additional, if applicable


Researchers may take their own digital images (without flash) at no charge. Staff approval is required prior to any filming.

Please contact us for more information regarding reproductions of other types of materials.

Permission to Publish

Regard should be given to common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel when using items in the care of Penfield Library's Special Collections for publication. Responsibility for obtaining permission to publish rests with researchers and their publishers.

In situations where the issue of copyright ownership is unresolved, the requestor agrees to hold harmless SUNY Oswego and its trustees, officers and agents either jointly or severally from any action involving infringement of the rights of any person or their heirs and descendants in common law or under statutory copyright.

Special Collections does not require fees or written permission to publish or exhibit based on our holdings. However, Special Collections does ask that our institution be noted in film credits or bibliographic citations. The correct citation should read:

"Name/No. of the collection", Special Collections, Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY.

A courtesy copy of any subsequent publication is also requested for the records of Special Collections.