Visiting Special Collections

Planning your visit

Everyone is welcome to use Special Collections but you will need to book an appointment in order to allow us time to retrieve the materials you wish to view. Here is some guidance to help you prepare and make the most of your visit:

  • Materials can be viewed Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
  • Please use MULibrary Search in advance to aid your research.
  • Then contact us with the date of your visit and the list of materials you wish to view.  We will retrieve your requested materials in advance and have them waiting on your arrival. We will require at least two working days notice.
  • Some Special Collections materials are held off-site and these materials take longer to retrieve, but you can request them in advance and you will be notified by email when this material is available to consult at the Gomatos Special Collections Room.

How to contact us

To schedule an appointment to use Special Collections, or for more information, please contact Laura Khouvongsavanh (703-526-6834) or email.

How to find us

The Gomatos Special Collections Room is located in the Reinsch Library at Marymount University, 2807 North Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia, 22207.

What will happen during my visit?

  • You will be asked to complete a registration form, for this you will need photo identification. The registration form will be kept on file for all future reference requests for a period of one year.
  • Personal belongings must be kept at the library circulation desk while viewing materials in the special collections room.
  • You can take in and use laptops, cell phones, pencils, and paper in the special collections room.
  • Library staff reserve the right to inspect the visitor’s belongings before leaving the library.

Looking at materials

The material in Special Collections is valuable and unique. We ask that you:

  • Handle the material with clean hands (no hand creams) and minimize handling where possible
  • Do not consume food or drink in the special collections room (there are many refreshment areas on campus)
  • Use a pencil for note-taking as accidents with ink can cause permanent damage
  • Use the book supports and weights provided
  • Close books when you are not using them (acid-free bookmarks are available from staff)
  • Do not lean on books or manuscripts or rest objects on them (please ask for permission before tracing anything)
  • Do not mark, annotate or deface the materials
  • Tell us about any accidents or damage.

Reproduction, copyright, and publishing

Materials reproduced for researchers from Special Collections are provided for private study, scholarship, or research under the fair use provision of the law (17 U.S.C. § 107). Any use other than private study, scholarship or research may be subject to copyright restrictions.

We can produce private research copies if the type of copying does not damage the item and complies with copyright restrictions. Many of the collections recent printed books remain in copyright. Please allow up to one week to process your request.

Fees for reproduction are as follows:

  • PDF $0.25/page; first 10 pages are free
  • High-Quality Scans (Flatbed up to 12″x17″); $5.00/scan
  • Other $15.00/hour of staff time
  • *There is a 50-page limit for reproduction requests*

Publishing materials from Special Collections requires written permission from both copyright holders and MU’s Librarian.  The acknowledgment that materials are kept at MU is as follows: John T. and Agnes J. Gomatos Collection/ Mabelle Wilhelmina Boldt Collection, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia.