Conditions of Use

The Hoover Institution Library & Archives’ collections contain much that is rare, fragile, or covered under copyright. Therefore all of  Hoover Institution’s archival collections and most library materials are non-circulating and are only accessible within the reading room at Stanford University. Access to our digital content is also available at our satellite reading room in the Washington DC office. 

In order to protect the collections and to help future researchers, all users of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives must abide by the following conditions of use, summarized below. (Download to read the complete conditions of use statement).

Use, Security, and Protection of the Collections

  • Reading rooms are open to the public for academic research purposes without charge and are subject to donor restrictions, other Stanford University policies, and the user’s acceptance of the terms and conditions of use.
  • Researchers may bring in their eyeglasses (without their case), reader card and/or Stanford ID (no lanyards), laptop (without sleeve), tablet, phone, camera, or other smart device (which is subject to change if a certain collection being viewed indicates otherwise), and reference books.

  • Some collections are only available on microfilm. Please bring your own flash drive to copy documents for your research.
  • Please do not bring in pens, post-it notes, notebooks or binders, hats, jackets, sweaters with pockets, briefcases, laptop sleeves, or bags (purses, backpacks, etc).
  • Smoking, food or drink (including water, chewing gum, cough drops) are not permitted.

      no hats        

  • We provide lockers, pencils, and notepaper. If a user needs to bring in leaves of paper (e.g., for fact checking), the paper will have to be reviewed and marked by staff with a "Non-Archival" stamp. If a user needs to bring in a reference book, a bookmark will be inserted.
  • All items removed from the reading room, including notepaper, reference books, and photocopies of materials, must be presented to a staff member for inspection prior to departure. All laptops and tablets must be opened.


  1. Please exercise the greatest care and defer to instructions given by staff when handling materials. Ask a staff member if you need help or advice in handling any item (leave the materials at the desk, someone will come to you).
  2. Users may have one box or volume at their table at a time. Please remove only one folder from the box at a time, use the folder marker provided by staff, and be sure to maintain the order and arrangement of any unbound material.
  3. Use pencils only to take notes. Do not mark, trace or take notes on top of any library or archival materials.
  4. Place materials flat on tables or on angled foam supports provided by staff. Do not bend, press down, or otherwise manipulate or rearrange materials.
  5. Do not lean on or place anything on top of materials aside from book weights. Use only bookmarks provided by staff when needed, as other items may cause damage and stress to the material.
  6. Gloves, provided by staff, must be worn when handling photographic materials.
  7. Refrain from making any repairs to items. Any material in need of repair should be brought to the attention of staff.

Reproduction of Materials and Camera Use

  1. Material that would be damaged by duplication may not be digitized.
  2. An overhead scanner is available in the Library & Archives reading room at no cost. It creates PDFs or JPEGs, and the files created may be downloaded to a flash drive. Users are solely responsible for compliance with all applicable laws and are solely responsible for any infringement of copyright laws resulting from use of the public-access scanner. To protect against physical damage to documents, please bring fragile or fastened documents to the attention of a staff member and obtain advice on proper scanning techniques.
  3. Use of personal or cell phone camera is permitted with some restrictions:
    • Flash and sound must be disabled. Use of other equipment, such as scanners, camera stands, tripods, etc., is not permitted.
    • All handling rules outlined above apply when photographing materials. Ask a staff member for assistance with fastened items.
    • Only photograph collection items. No photography of the staff, reading room, or other users is allowed.
    • Every photograph taken must include the following copyright notice provided by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives: “Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). This copy is made for your personal use only”.
  4. The Library & Archives reserves the right to deny photography permissions at its discretion.
  5. Users are responsible for keeping accurate citations for all items photographed or scanned, which are needed when ordering publication-quality images or requesting permission to quote from copyright holders.


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 Library & Archives.

Material Use


To listen to sound recordings or view videos or films, please contact us at least 7 calendar days before you visit. We will advise you of the accessibility of the materials you wish to use. Not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Library Materials

Almost all of the materials of the Hoover Institution’s Library are listed in Stanford University Libraries' online catalog, SearchWorks. However, some of the serials, newspapers, government documents and society publications (and their holdings) may be listed only in the card catalogs located in the reading room.

Some materials from the Hoover Institution Library may be borrowed and some materials, designated as Library Use Only, may be circulated to Stanford faculty, staff, and students and cooperative card holders from the University of California system. Read more about our library request and circulation policy for more details and access permissions.


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