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Rare Books: Guidelines


The Monash University Library Special Collections exist to further scholarship in all its forms. As rare books are by their nature rare or special, there are some guidelines to their use so that these resources can be preserved for future generations of Monash students, researchers, and the general public.

Conditions of entry


  • The Special Collections Reading Room is open to Monash students and staff, local and international tertiary students, and members of the public.
  • The Reading Room is for consultation of Special Collections materials only.​
  • The Reading Room is a quiet study space.
  • Patrons must present a valid photo identification.​
  • Bags and cases must be left at the service point counter. Items essential to a patron’s work may be brought into the room, such as laptops, phones, notebooks, pencils, books, and any approved equipment.​
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the Reading Room.​
  • Secondary school students and children must be accompanied by an adult.​



  • Materials should be handled delicately. Do not force the book flat, put pressure on its spine, or turn pages with undue force.​
  • Do not lick your finger to turn pages.​
  • Some items may require gloves for handling.​
  • No marks may be added or erased in the books.​
  • Pencil or electronic note-taking is allowed.​
  • Tracing is not allowed​.
  • Please do not rest anything like note-paper, other books, or objects on a book. Special weights are provided as required.​
  • Please keep papers in original order.​
  • Please do not remove any bookmarks, advertising material etc from their original location in the book.​
  • Some books may have uncut pages. Please bring these to our attention so that Rare Books staff may open them for you.

Photography, photocopying and scanning


  • Photocopying and scanning facilities are provided in the room.​
  • Personal equipment needs to be approved prior to use.​
  • Reproduction of most materials is permitted within copyright regulations. Some oversize or fragile material may not be permitted. Please check with staff first.​
  • Cameras, such as mobile phones and digital cameras, are permitted. If flash is required, please ask staff for permission.​
  • All necessary precautions should be taken so as not to drop equipment onto materials. Straps or lanyards are advisable for larger equipment.​
  • Users may not stand on furniture or place materials on the floor to take pictures.​
  • Use of images for publication should credit the collection.​
  • Publication and dissemination of information from manuscripts and other material is subject to the University’s Privacy Policy.​
  • All reproduction is subject to Australian copyright law.