Information for Researchers

Guidelines for Use of Special Collections Material

Access to records is governed by the department's access policy, and material is issued to researchers subject to any condidtions relating to individual collections.

  1. All items must be handled with care. No pens are allowed. Use only pencil ormake notes on a laptop when working with Special Collections material. Writing on the materials is prohibited. Please do not fold, bend, or stack items on any of the materials.
  2. No food, candy, or drinks of any kind in the Special Collections.
  3. Special Collections documents and items may not be taken from the immediate area or designated reading room without permission.
  4. Recording or photographic/scanning equipment must be approved by Special Collections librarian prior to use. Use of personal cameras is permitted. Fragile items that can be scanned without damage witll be scanned by a library staff member. No collection may be reproduced in its entirety.
  5. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. Researchers assume the responsibility for abiding by the laws of libel, literary property rights, and copyright which may be involved with the use of materials.

Information for Donors

The founding mission of Special Collections at Pittsburg State University was to collect print and non-print materials to document the history, culture and activities of the fourteen counties* of southeastern Kansas as comprehensively as possible. While that remains a focus of Special Collections, the scope of the collection’s development encompasses numerous personalities and subject areas that now include, but are not limited to, state and regional history, Socialist Party history, immigrant and ethnic history, labor union and working class history, free thought, individualism, rationalism, mining history, regional literary figures and movements, military history, social justice, and closely related topics. Additionally, Special Collections seeks to provide library resources and unique primary source records that support the teaching and learning, discovery, and engagement goals of the University.

Considered for inclusion in Special Collections are print and non-print materials, included but not limited to, books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, manuscripts, maps, audio-visual materials, artworks, and electronic format records. First priority is given to works about the Southeast Kansas region or works pertaining to the area’s inhabitants, past and present. Other materials considered for inclusion are items that are culturally or historically significant and items that document or broadly support an understanding of other materials held by the Leonard H. Axe Library. Artifacts and regalia are considered for inclusion if they are part of a larger collection of materials, enhance the understanding of other materials in the collection, are the work of individuals relevant to the collection’s scope, or may be used in exhibits or displays prepared by Special Collections or by the Axe Library.

The Curator of Special Collections will acquire appropriate materials for Special Collections by purchase, indefinite loan, or by donation whenever possible. Book lists, catalogs, and other resources will be consulted regularly to discover materials available for purchase. The Curator will emphasize the acquisition of appropriate materials for Special Collections by direct solicitation of gifts, donations, or loans. Individuals interested in donating an item or collection to the Special Collections should contact the Curator to discuss the potential transfer. An inventory or listing of items will be helpful in determining if the item or collection is appropriate for the Special Collections.

Materials acquired by gift, donation, or loan will be itemized, reported to the University Development Office, and formally acknowledged by the Curator of Special Collections.

*The fourteen counties of Southeastern Kansas are Allen, Bourbon, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.