Using the Reading Room

Archival and most library materials are non-circulating and must be used in the reading room.


Researchers may bring in laptop/tablet/phone/camera [unless not allowed for the particular collection] and reference books.

Some collections are only available on microfilm. Please bring your own flash drive to copy documents from microfilm.


no hats


The following are not allowed in the reading room: smoking, food or drink (including water, chewing gum, cough drops), pens, hats, jackets, sweaters with pockets, cases, bags (backpacks, etc),  notebooks or binders.


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.

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.
  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 and be sure to maintain the order and arrangement of any unbound material.
  3. Use pencils only to take notes. Do not mark 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, which will be provided by staff, must be worn when handling photographic materials and other fragile items.
  7. Refrain from making any repairs to items. Any material in need of repair should be brought to the attention of staff.



  1. Material that would be damaged by duplication may not be copied.
  2. An overhead scanner is available in the Library & Archives reading room. 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 documents to the attention of the staff member on duty and obtain advice on proper scanning techniques.
  3. Use of personal or cell phone cameras is permitted with some restrictions:
    • Flash and sound must be disabled. No other equipment, such as scanners, camera stands, tripods, etc., is permitted.
    • All handling rules outlined above apply when photographing materials. Ask staff for assistance with fastened items.
    • Only photograph collection items. No photography of the staff, reading room, or other users is allowed.
  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.




To listen to sound recordings or view videos or films, please contact us at least two business 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 Library are listed in Stanford University Libraries' online catalog. 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.

Stanford faculty, staff, and students and cooperative card holders from the University of California system may borrow select published books. 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 staff if the item in question qualifies.

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

Requests for interlibrary loans of published books and microfilm from the Hoover Library are processed through Stanford University Libraries ILL. Stanford University Library Interlibrary Services processes borrowing requests for eligible Hoover fellows and staff.



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