Rules for Readers
If you plan to visit the Performing Arts Reading Room in person,
please read the following guidelines for readers.
I. General Information
1. All readers must present a valid Library
of Congress Reader Identification Card to enter the Reading
Room. These cards may be obtained in the Madison
Building, Room LM 140, by presenting current identification
such as a driver's license or a passport, containing a photo
ID and current address.
2. The Reading Room may be used by any researcher 18 years of
age or older. Students under the age of 18 are required to present
a letter signed by the high school principal stating that efforts
to locate the requested material elsewhere have been unsuccessful.
3. Reading Room hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through
Saturday (closed Sundays and Federal holidays). Requests for material
are accepted until 4:15 p.m.
4. Up to three call slips may be submitted at a time.
5. Requests by phone or email to retrieve and hold (reserve)
materials in advance of a researcher's visit are not accepted.
Researchers may place materials on reserve for two weeks upon request
in person at the Circulation Desk.
6. The greatest possible care must be taken to prevent damage
to items from the Library's collections. Use pencil only when taking
written notes. Pencils are available at the Circulation Desk. No
pens will be allowed. Make no marks on items from the Library's
collections. Do not rest objects or take notes on top of Library
materials. You must preserve the existing order and arrangement
of unbound materials and report any disarrangement to the librarian
II. Use of Rare Materials
1. Rare materials, including, but not limited to, those designated "CASE," must
be used at the designated rare book tables only. Observe any special
handling conditions indicated by Reading Room Staff, including
the use of gloves, cradles, etc.
2. Do not leave rare materials unattended. Return rare
items to the staff at the Circulation Desk whenever leaving your
seat for more than a few minutes (including use of the multi-purpose
rooms or the photocopier).
3. Researchers who wish to consult special collections should contact the Music Division well in advance of their visit.
Many special collections are stored off-site and require time to retrieve. Unprocessed collections are served only by special arrangement and only to the extent possible. Requests to see unprocessed collections must be made in writing and describe the information being sought (e.g., correspondence with X; photos of Z; etc.). It is not possible to browse unprocessed collections.
4. When a microform of a requested item is available, readers
are required to use the microform. Readers who need to examine
the physical aspects of the original material should direct their
requests to the librarian on duty. Any restrictions on the original
material itself apply to the microform copy as well.
1. In all cases, adherence to the copyright law is the responsibility
of the reader. This applies to both published and unpublished material.
Music Division staff cannot provide legal advice. Researchers with
copyright questions and concerns are encouraged to contact the
U.S. Copyright Office (phone 202-707-3000 or email [email protected]).
A brief written explanation of the copyright law as it applies
to books and music is available at the Reference Desk.
2. No rare material may be photocopied without the permission
of the librarian on duty. Fragile material may not be photocopied.
3. Readers are required to limit the number of items taken to
the photocopier at one time. This ensures that both the physical
condition and the filing integrity of the materials will be preserved
for future visitors. Use of a photocopier or microform reader-printer
is limited to fifteen minutes when others are waiting.
4. All photocopying machines, and two microform reader-printers,
take only Library of Congress Copy Cards (no coins). These cards
may be purchased in the Newspapers and Current Periodicals Reading
133) or in the Law Library Reading Room (LM
5. If no donor or other restrictions apply, copies of Library
of Congress material on microform may be made from the reader-printers
in the Performing Arts Reading Room (most expedient) or by the
Library's Photoduplication Service. Readers are not permitted to
make copies from microform without permission from the owner when
the originals are not owned by the Library of Congress.
IV. Multi-Purpose Rooms
Several multi-purpose rooms (some equipped with pianos) are available,
and may be used in conjunction with studying material in the Music
Division's collections. These pianos are not intended for practice.
Readers needing to use these rooms must first check with the librarian
on duty. Only one folder of unbound material at a time may be taken
into a multi-purpose room. Rare materials may not be taken
into a multi-purpose room without permission of the librarian on
duty. Please limit the number of individual pieces of sheet
music taken into a room in order to preserve both the physical
condition and filing integrity of the material.