Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
Preserving the Legacy of the Black Experience
Howard University
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Howard University

General MSRC Regulations

The resources of the MSRC have been developed primarily for the use of Howard University faculty and students, all researchers are welcome. Reproduction services are available, although some collections are subject to restrictions concerning access and copying. While researchers should consult staff concerning specific procedures regarding materials under their care, these specific rules generally apply:

Researchers must complete a Research Register form and present suitable photo identification, e.g. driver’s license.
All collections of the MSRC are maintained as research collections and all materials must be used on the premises. NO MATERIALS CIRCULATE.
Materials must be handled carefully and treated with respect. The use of rare, fragile, or valuable items which are subject to damage may be restricted or denied. Materials must not be leaned on; written on; folded anew; traced; fastened with rubber bands, staples or pencil clips; or handled in any way subjecting them to damage.
Briefcases, portfolios, packages, coats, and similar items are not permitted in the Manuscript Division research room. Upon examination, researchers may be permitted to take notes and books essential to their research into the research room.
Use pencil only. Under no circumstances may ink be used.
The use of photographic and other reproduction equipment is prohibited.
Eating and drinking in the reading rooms are prohibited.
Smoking in the reading rooms is prohibited.
Excessive noise in the reading rooms is prohibited.
Deposit of photographic reproductions of MSRC materials in another repository is prohibited.
Electronic transmission of images from MSRC collections is prohibited.
Guided tours of MSRC are by appointment only. LARGE GROUPS may be accommodated by special arrangements in advance.

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Copyright and Permission to Publish

Researchers must assume responsibility for securing specific permission to publish materials for any purpose. Reproduction of graphic materials is in accordance with the limits of the Copyright Act and with Center policies. Reproduction is permitted if the copyrights have been transferred to the Center by the original owner or executor of the collection. Researchers must assume all responsibility for copyright issues that may arise from the use of copies.

Permission to examine materials is not an authorization to publish them. To the extent that it may properly do so, this repository will ordinarily grant the usual publication rights to qualified applicants. In giving permission to publish materials, Howard University does not surrender its own right to publish the materials or to grant permission to others to publish it. A dissertation is considered a published work.

Purchase of reproductions does not automatically signify permission to publish, nor does permission to use images automatically transfer copyrights or any other rights to the researcher/publisher. Permission must be obtained from the MSRC and from the copyright owner if applicable. Permission to publish includes the following rights: non-exclusive, one-time use; world rights, all languages. Please check with the Prints and Photographs Librarian for clearance or to negotiate additional rights.

The photographs and images in this website are either protected by copyright, regardless of whether the copyright symbol © appears or not, or are under the ownership of Howard University. The inclusion of these images anywhere in this website, does not imply that permission is given to use, reproduce, download or publish. The commercial, editorial or personal use of any images viewed here is prohibited except when written permission has been provided by the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and/or the copyright holder.

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As a service to researchers, the MSRC provides reproductions of items in its collections for research, exhibition, publication, and other projects. The Research Center will entertain request for the photoduplication of modest amounts of materials for individual scholars engaged in specific research. All photocopying is governed by copyright and other restrictions placed on photoduplication. Photocopying of materials is similarly restricted. Photoduplicated copies are for research used by the individual researcher. These copies are not to be duplicated, disseminated, nor deposited in any other institution. Copyrighted materials will not be reproduced beyond recognized “fair use.” Researchers must assume all responsibility for copyright issues that may arise from the use of copies.

Requests for photograph copies require a processing time of a minimum of ten working days from the day the order is placed in the lab. This time may be longer depending on the number of requests already on order. Materials are released for one time only. Future use must be renegotiated with the Center. 

The Center reserves the right to refuse the reproduction of materials whose condition is considered too fragile or deteriorated for safe handling.

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Citing Materials

Researchers must indicate full bibliographic information when citing materials used. All graphic images and negatives are the sole property of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

Sample Book citation
Courtesy Library Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.

Sample Manuscript citation
Alain Locke Papers Box 1-1 Folder 45; Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.

Sample Prints & Photographs citation
[creator, if known}, Courtesy: Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.

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  • Researchers requesting manuscript services must have complete research in the available secondary sources. Browsing of the collection is not permitted.
  • Researchers must fill out request slips for materials they wish to examine. Material will be available in single units (box, folder, item) as circumstances dictate.
  • Researchers must preserve the arrangement of unbound materials and report any disarrangement to the archivist. Do not rearrange materials yourself. All materials must be returned to the archivist if the researcher leaves the room for any period.

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Prints & Photographs

Requests should be submitted to the Prints and Photographs Librarian using the MSRC order form or as a written request, and should include the following information:

  • photo caption or description
  • box/folder number or location of the image
  • the print size or resolution
  • information essential to granting a permission to publish, if applicable, e.g., title, publisher, date of publication or other types of release, and print run

Photo Orders

Full payment is expected prior to processing photo orders. In addition to reproduction costs, there may be an additional use fee, assigned on a case-by-case basis. Allow a minimum of three weeks for processing once you have placed an order. All scans are $30.00 each.

Shipping and Handling

Below are the Center's fees for handling orders, based upon the total order. If special mailing is preferred, such as Fed-Ex, please provide an account number and address for shipping.

Service Cost Shipping and Handling

$0.25 - $5.00

$5.01 - $15.00 $6.00
$15.01 - $30.00 $9.00
$30.01 - $45.00 $12.00
$45.01 - $60.00 $15.00
$60.01 - $75.00 $18.00
$75.01 - $90.00 $21.00
$90.01 - $200.00 $24.00

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We are happy to make arrangements for those with physical limitations and challenges. Please contact the MSRC in advance of your visit so that accommodations can be made.

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