University of Georgia Libraries, Special Collections  


Getting Started
Closed, Restricted or Unprocessed Collections
On-site Research
Off-site Research
Accessing Born Digital Materials
Accessing Audiovisual Materials
Requesting Materials for Duplication/Transfer
Audio Visual Transfers
Requesting Permission to Publish
Access Your Researcher Account

Getting Started

To make the most of their research visit, patrons should search or browse the Russell Library’s collections database to discover what relevant materials are available before arriving to conduct research.

All patrons must register and establish a patron researcher account to access Russell Library materials. This account will allow researchers to review and track past and current requests. On-site patrons must provide photo identification (driver’s license, passport, student ID card, government-issued ID card, etc.) before reviewing archival materials.

Patrons may access collection material by reviewing collection finding aids and requesting materials online. Patrons may use collection material only in the Russell Research Room and may not check out or remove original materials from the room. Patrons may access reference books, periodicals, selected microfilm, and other reference sources available in the research room and online. Patrons wishing to locate and use these materials should consult with the archivist on duty. Patrons may access many oral history transcripts online via the finding aid, or they may request some oral history transcripts for off-site use by submitting an interlibrary loan request through a library where they have borrowing privileges.

Closed, Restricted or Unprocessed Collections

Although searching the Russell collections database will often yield useful results, researchers should note that not all collections housed at the Russell Library are represented online. Some Russell collections are unavailable for research due to agreements with collection donors, specific restrictions and other access policies.

In addition, some collections may be open for research but are unprocessed. This means that Russell Library staff has received the collection but has not fully arranged and described its contents. As such, the researcher can expect to find materials in the state in which they were received and with only basic arrangement and description. When the collection has been fully processed, researchers can expect box numbers to change, a more thorough folder-level inventory and a decrease in the overall size of the collection as unfilled boxes are consolidated.

Please note that unprocessed collections will require more time and effort on the part of researchers to determine how useful the collection may be to their research. Russell Library staff is not able to provide additional reference services for unprocessed collections. .Researchers should contact Russell staff for research assistance or questions concerning access to closed, restricted or unprocessed collections by emailing

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On-site Research

Russell Library Location

  • The Russell Library is located in The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries Building located at 300 South Hull Street in Athens, Georgia. (see map)
  • The Russell Library Research Room is located on the third floor of the building.
  • Patrons visiting to conduct research with Russell Library collections will check in at the central reference center also located on the third floor.
  • For more information about parking, hours, or directions, please consult the Visit Page of the Russell Web site.

Russell Library Hours

  • Russell Library is open for research Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. (last request for materials must be submitted by 4:15 p.m.)
  • The Russell Library closes for all University of Georgia holidays.
  • Patrons traveling from locations off-campus should confirm current hours and closings prior to visiting.
  • Russell Library Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-5 p.m. and is closed on all University of Georgia holidays.

Researchers planning a visit to the Russell Library may request materials in advance by searching the Russell Library collections database and clicking the “Request Material” button displayed on the upper left of each collection guide and selecting the desired boxes of material. (Note: First-time users will be directed to the registration page to establish a new researcher account.)

After arriving at the Russell Library, patrons may request materials, as described above, using their own laptops or one of the workstations available in the reference area of the Special Collections Libraries Building.

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Off-site Research

Russell Library staff will be glad to provide limited basic research assistance and orientation to off-site patrons via email or telephone. Russell Library staff cannot conduct in-depth research for off-site patrons. If off-site patrons are unable to visit the Russell Library, they may order materials for reproduction and delivery, or they may hire a local (proxy) researcher to review and request materials at the library on their behalf.

Off-site patrons who have identified and hired a proxy researcher to conduct research on their behalf can browse the Russell Library collections database, select materials, create a researcher account, and submit their requests. Off-site patrons should also send the name of their local proxy to

Proxy researchers working for off-site patrons also must create a researcher account and identify the person for whom they are working when they arrive to conduct research. This will link off-site researchers with their respective proxies and allow off-site researchers to manage any related research transactions.

Please note: Russell Library does not participate in any of the financial arrangements or transactions made between off-site patrons and the proxies they hire.

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Accessing Born Digital Materials

Some archival materials only exist in digital form, such as email, spreadsheets, and databases. These materials are described in collection finding aids along with any related papers. To access these materials:

  • Researchers may request digital materials from a collection finding aid as they would other materials.
  • Once a researcher requests digital materials, an archivist will share the digital files with the researcher within two business days via Google Drive. If the researcher does not have a Google account, the archivist will provide instructions for creating one.
  • Requested files will remain in Google Drive for two weeks. Copies of the files may be downloaded for personal research use only.

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Accessing Audiovisual Materials

Researchers can locate audiovisual materials via the Russell Library’s finding aid database. When user copies are available, patrons may request these items via the finding aid database; however, many audiovisual materials are available only in their original formats (i.e. no user copies) and will therefore need to be sent off-site to be duplicated. Typically, this process will take two weeks or longer and is dependent upon transfer lab’s schedule. Remote research requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis; some materials may be made available through Interlibrary Loan. Library staff reserves the right to deny access if the condition of original materials is such that copying will cause further damage. Researchers should contact Russell staff for research assistance or questions concerning access to audiovisual materials by emailing

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Requesting Materials for Duplication/Transfer

General Guidelines

The Russell Library will produce photocopies and digital scans from materials in the Library’s collections for a fee when such copying meets ALL of the following criteria:

  • Does not damage the material
  • Does not violate agreement with collection donor
  • Conforms to copyright statute:
    • The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.
    • Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a copy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user will be liable for copyright infringement.

On-site Fair Use Duplication

Fair Use Copies by Patrons Using Digital Cameras

Patrons may make fair use digital copies for personal research use if they agree to the policies and procedures described in the Russell Library Digital Copies and Camera Use Policy and by signing the Russell Library Digital Reproductions Use Agreement.

Reproduction Requests Fulfilled by Russell Staff Patrons may request reproductions (photocopies, scans or AV transfers) of Russell Library collection materials if staff can make the reproductions without damaging the material and/or without violating terms of donor agreements or copyright laws. Russell staff fulfills reproduction requests in the order they receive them. Reproduction of any item in any format must contain a complete citation to the original. Russell staff will make every effort to provide reproductions in a timely manner; however, staff cannot make on-the-spot photocopies for patrons. Typical turnaround time for photocopy requests is 48 hours from request if requesting fewer than 25 copies. When submitting reproduction requests, patrons should always discuss the timetable for receiving copies, the payment process, and delivery preferences with the archivist on duty.

Off-site Fair Use Duplication

Proxy Research Duplication Guidelines

Before a proxy researcher may take fair use digital images of materials for an offsite patron, both the local proxy and his or her offsite patron must complete and submit the Russell Library Digital Reproductions Use Agreement. Offsite patrons should complete the offsite Russell Library Digital Reproductions Use Agreement.

For more information about working with proxy researchers, please contact the Russell Library researcher account,

Off-site Reproduction Requests Fulfilled by Russell Staff

Off-site patrons may request reproductions (photocopies, scans or AV transfers) of Russell Library collection materials if staff can make the reproductions without damaging the material and/or without violating terms of donor agreements or copyright laws. The Russell Library does not provide digital pdf fair use copies. In most instances, Russell staff will only fulfill copy orders for entire folders of materials and will not select materials within folders based on a patron’s research criteria. Russell staff will review the request and provide an invoice outlining costs of reproduction and shipping and handling as well as payment instructions. Patrons must pay for reproductions in advance. Turnaround time for off-site reproduction requests is at least 10 business days from date of payment, or longer depending on the extent of the request. This time frame does not include shipping time, which varies.

Instructions for Placing Off-site Reproduction Orders

  1. Register as a researcher at
  2. Submit a detailed email message to with the following information:
    1. Collection Name
      Series Name/or number (Series are denoted with Roman numerals I, II, III, IV…)
      Box Number
      Folder Number AND Title
    2. Description of the specific folder or item you are requesting. Patrons must request photocopies of the entire folder, but all requests are subject to copyright consideration and physical condition of the materials.
    3. Provide reproduction output information :
      1. Photocopy or Scan?
      2. If scan, what resolution (dpi) and what file type (Tiff, jpg, pdf)
      3. If scan, watermarked or unwatermarked?
        PLEASE NOTE: If you request unwatermarked, then you must ALSO provide description of the use(s) you plan to make of the scan. If the material will be published (an exhibit, publication, Web site, etc.) you will have to submit a Permission to Publish Request. Publication of materials from the Russell Library may incur preservation use fees.
      4. PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the Russell Library provides scans to patrons via electronic download.
  3. Upon receipt of your request, Russell staff will review your request and follow up with an invoice and payment instructions.
    1. Off-site patrons must provide payment in full before Russell staff will fulfill copy requests
    2. Off-site patrons may pay for orders by check or credit card

Fees for Reproduction and Delivery of Photocopies or Scans

  • Reproduction
    • Photocopies: $.25 each
    • Digital scans: $12.00 each (originals can measure up to 30" x 40")
  • Delivery
    • Russell staff delivers photocopy requests via USPS First Class. Shipping and handling rates vary based on weight and delivery address. Staff will provide patrons with an invoice outlining these costs.
    • Unless otherwise specified, Russell staff delivers digital scans via electronic download at no additional charge to patrons. If file size exceeds certain thresholds, or if patrons wish to make alternative arrangements for transfer of files, Russell staff may apply additional fees.
  • Preservation Use Fees
    • Patrons planning to use exact reproductions of Russell Library materials in any form for publication in any form must contact the Russell Library for permission to publish said materials. In some instances publication of Russell Library materials will incur a use preservation fee. These fees will be outlined by the director during the course of providing permission to publish.

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Audio Visual Transfers

There is no charge for “Fair Use” of audiovisual materials. (See U.S. Copyright Office description of fair use). For many of its audiovisual materials, the Russell Library does not own the intellectual rights. While staff will assist researchers, to the degree they can, in determining copyright and permissions for purposes falling outside Fair Use, this responsibility ultimately rests with the researcher.

In most cases, streaming files of audiovisual materials can be made available for online access, free of charge. CD, DVD, or digital files of some audiovisual materials for which the Russell Library holds copyright are available for $30 each. The Russell Library retains all rights to this content, and the requested material may be used only for research and study, as outlined under the terms of the “Fair Use.” Some materials are not able to be digitized due to condition or restrictions. Please allow 2-4 weeks for transfer of audiovisual materials.

Individuals interested in licensing moving images or sound recordings for productions or live presentations should note staff can provide licensing only for media for which the Russell Library holds copyright. Rights and permissions vary depending on collections. Please contact to request more detailed information.

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Requesting Permission to Publish (Excluding Audiovisual Materials)

The Russell Library does not own the intellectual rights to most of the materials in its collections and as such cannot grant or deny permission to publish these materials. Patrons wishing to publish materials from Russell Library collections are responsible for securing permission to publish from rights holders. Russell staff will provide limited initial assistance to patrons investigating copyright matters for materials they wish to publish. For assistance with researching rights holders, patrons may wish to consult the following resources:

  • WATCH File: The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) contains the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.
  • U.S. Copyright Office: You can search a public database at the U.S. Copyright Office for copyright information on all works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office after January 1, 1978.

To initiate a request for reproduction of materials for publication, patrons must complete the Intention to Publish Worksheet. Upon receipt of this form, staff will review the request to determine if the Russell Library owns or administers the rights to the materials requested.

If the Russell Library does not own or administer rights for the requested materials, the staff member will forward the Intention to Publish Policy Agreement for Materials for which the Russell Library Does NOT Own or Administer Copyright to the patron to complete and submit. Upon receipt of the signed form, Russell staff will generate an invoice for reproduction, shipping and handling, and will outline fulfillment steps to the patron.

If the Russell Library does own or administer rights for the requested material(s), the staff member will forward the Intention to Publish Policy Agreement for Materials for which the Russell Library Owns or Administers Copyright to the patron to complete and submit. Upon receipt of the signed form, Russell staff will review the request, make a determination as to terms for permission and associated fees, and notify patron of next steps. Please note: Russell Library staff review permission to publish requests in the order that they are received. Typically, the review process takes at least 10 business days from the date of submission of the Intention to Publish Worksheet.

Questions related to permission to publish should be directed to


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