Library and Archives
Library and Archives

Library and Archives: Use of Materials

The Hoover Institution Library and Archives are open to everyone.


Use of Materials

The Hoover Institution Archives is open to the public without charge. Use of archival material, however, is conditional upon adherence to the following rules:

  1. All researchers must register to use the archives. Photo identification is required (driver's license, passport, or other photo ID).
  2. All materials must be used in the reading room.
  3. Hoover Institution notepaper and pencils, which are furnished without charge, are available for use in the reading room. Use of other notepaper must be approved by the archives staff.
  4. The use of cameras in the reading room is allowed. No additional equipment, such as a camera stand, tripod, scanner, etc., is allowed.
  5. No personal property of any kind except pencils, laptop computers, cameras, cell phones, and reference books may be taken into the reading room. Pens, briefcases, computer cases, overcoats, hats, bags (including women's purses), and research materials, such as folders, unauthorized notepaper, and photocopies of documents, should be left in lockers that are available for temporary storage. Before their departure each day, users are requested to remove possessions from lockers and return keys to their slots. Stanford University is not responsible for loss or theft of any personal possessions stored in lockers.
  6. All items removed from the reading room, including notepaper, reference books, and photocopies of archival materials, must be presented to an archives staff member for inspection. In order to prevent the theft of materials, state law authorizes the detention for a reasonable period of any person using these facilities suspected of committing "Library Theft" (Penal Code Section 490.5).
  7. To ensure the safety and preservation of materials, researchers are required to use pencils; make no marks and rest no books or other objects on the documents; preserve the existing order and arrangement of unbound material; bring only one manuscript box at a time to the table; and exercise the greatest care to prevent damage. Specific materials may be subject to additional rules of use.
  8. Archival holdings are requested using yellow request cards next to the reference desk. Materials are brought from the stacks to the reading room at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Some of the archives’ collections are stored off-site, and it may be possible to have a limited number of boxes brought to the archives reading room for consultation. A minimum of two days notice is required. Please contact Carol Leadenham for more information about off-site collections.
  9. Researchers may not smoke or bring food or drink into the reading room.
  10. Researchers must abide by the policies for reproduction of archival material listed below.
  11. Violations of the terms of this agreement or of any of the policies of the Hoover Institution or of Stanford University may result in forfeiture of the privilege to access and use materials at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives.

Reproduction of Materials

  1. LIMITATION: Archival material that would be damaged by duplication may not be copied.
  2. SELF-SERVICE: A public-access copy machine is available in the archives reading room. Users are responsible for any infringement of U.S. copyright laws resulting from use of the public-access copy machine. Photocopies cost 15 cents per page. Researchers are responsible for bringing change for the photocopy machine (coins, dollar bills, or five-dollar bills) or purchasing a copy card at Green or Meyer Library. To protect against physical damage to documents, please bring fragile documents to the attention of the archivist on duty and obtain advice on proper copying techniques.
  3. COPIES PREPARED BY ARCHIVES STAFF: Copies cost 30 cents each plus postage and California sales tax when applicable. Please do not remove documents from folders for copying. An archivist will explain the procedure for flagging material to be copied. Please allow three weeks for photocopy orders to be completed.
  4. COPYRIGHT: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction (including handwritten copies) for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Users are advised to obtain permission from owners of copyright before publishing any materials examined in the Hoover Institution Archives.
  5. USE OF COPIES: Photocopies and photographs may not be further reproduced and distributed, beyond fair use, without the specific authorization of the Hoover Institution. Information regarding the reproduction of photographs, sound recordings, and motion picture film may be obtained from the archivists in the reading room. No microfilming user service program is currently in effect. No annotations or lists pertaining to the provenance of reproduced material will be prepared by archives staff.


Visitors to the library, which is housed in the Hoover Tower, are asked to register at the loan desk on the main floor of the Tower by filling out a registration form, presenting photo identification, and agreeing to the rules for the use of materials. Non-Stanford readers are welcome to use materials on-site. Borrowing privileges are available to all readers affiliated with Stanford University as well as to cooperative card holders from participating California universities.

A wide range of facilities and services is available to readers in the library, including staff assistance, a specialized reference collection, microfilm reader/printers, and photoduplication services.

The Information Center on the ground floor of Stanford University's Green Library now houses current issues of newspapers and journals formerly housed in the Hoover Library's Current Periodical and Newspaper Reading Room.

Public Catalogs

Most of the holdings of the Hoover Library are listed in Stanford University Libraries' online catalog. However, some of the materials acquired before 1977 may be listed only in the card catalogs located on the main floor of the Hoover Tower. Socrates searches can be limited to the Hoover Institution Library.

Four online public-access terminals are located across from the loan desk. In addition to the main card catalogs (maintained only through 1990) located across from the loan desk, there are several separate card catalogs (also maintained only through 1990) in the reading room: for serials and newspapers, government documents and society publications, and other special collections and for materials in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. The library uses the Library of Congress classification system, transliteration systems, and subject headings.

Borrowing Privileges

The library stacks are closed to the public. Requested items are retrieved by Hoover staff every half hour from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Newspapers are retrieved at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Readers may request materials by submitting request cards at the loan desk. If a requested item is out on loan, it may be recalled.

Non-Stanford affiliated users are welcome to use our materials in the reading room.

Borrowing privileges are extended to Stanford faculty, staff, and students and to cooperative card holders from the University of California system. Some library materials do not circulate and may only be used on-site. However, some materials designated as Library Use Only may circulate for a short time to Stanford faculty and Hoover fellows only. Stanford faculty members and Hoover fellows who wish to take a Library Use Only item to their offices may ask a member of the reference staff if the item in question qualifies.

Circulating materials may be borrowed by Stanford faculty, staff, Hoover fellows, and staff for one academic year; for one quarter by doctoral candidates; and for one month by Stanford graduate and undergraduate students. Periodicals and newspapers do not circulate.

Library Reading Room

The reference reading room in the Tower is open to all. Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, and graduate students are eligible to apply for study carrels located in the reading room. Applications for carrels should be directed to the reference librarian. Microform materials may be viewed in the annex to the reference reading room. Reader/printers are also available.

Photographic and Copying Services

Photocopying is available on the main floor. Photocopies cost 15 cents per page. Permission of the reference librarian is necessary to photocopy noncirculating materials. Limited quantities of materials may usually be copied with this permission, although some materials may not be copied. Requests for large copying projects, including microfilming or duplication of existing microfilm, should be referred to the reference librarian. Whenever possible, in accordance with United States copyright law, photocopies or microfilm copies are made available for purchase.

Interlibrary Services

Stanford University Libraries Interlibrary Services processes borrowing and lending requests for the Hoover Institution Library (RLG: CSUX, OCLC: hin). Eligible Hoover patrons should review the document delivery request forms to submit borrowing requests for materials from other libraries and research institutions.

To borrow circulating material from Hoover's collection, RLG Shares Partners continue to select CSUX records in RLIN. CSUX will be an alias for CSUG (Stanford Interlibrary Services). UC Libraries request using current established procedures for Stanford ILL. Other libraries and research institutions should review Stanford interlibrary lending policies before submitting a request. For non-Shares Partners, non UCs, Hoover material may only be requested using Stanford ILL's electronic non-protocol request forms.