Plan Your Visit

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Brick wall and brown metal door with blue signs for Archives and Special Collections
Come see us in Suite G-100, 
on the basement level of Leddy Library's Main Building
Your visit to Archives & Special Collections will be more successful if you plan ahead and know what to expect. Read on to learn the lingo we use, how and why we operate differently from the rest of the library, how to find us, when you can visit, rules all visitors must adhere to, what you can and cannot access, and how to get copies of our materials.
Archives and Special Collections 101

Archives and Special Collections have policies, practices, and terminology that differ from the rest of the library. We are presently working on a few resources to help guide new users through these differences. 

Stay tuned for helpful hints!

Hours and Getting Here (*including COVID restrictions)
Opening Hours

Archives and Special Collections is open 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.

For the Fall 2021 semester, on-site research and in-person consultations are available on an appointment-only basis. Please contact us at or 519-253-3000 ext. 3851 to arrange for an appointment. All appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place, including masks, social distancing, and sanitization of the workspace.

Getting Here

We are located on the Basement level of Leddy Library’s Main Building, in suite G-100. As you exit the main stairwell or elevators, turn left and head down the corridor. Look for the blue signs on our brown metal door, on your left. Ring the doorbell to be let in.

As you plan your visit, you may find useful this campus map and this visitor parking information.

Before You Arrive

In order to preserve our rare and fragile items from damage, theft, and pests, Archives & Special Collections applies a number of rules that must be adhered to by all visitors. Although they may at times seem inconvenient, they exist to protect items in our care which cannot be replaced. Staff therefore reserve the right to rescind the research privileges of anyone who fails to adhere to these regulations.

Rules for All Visitors:
  • No food or beverages are allowed in the Reading Room, vault, or staff areas.
  • Personal belongings, including backpacks and outer wear, are not allowed at the research table in the Reading Room.
Rules for Researchers Wishing to Consult Materials:
  • Researchers must fill out a registration form.
  • While consulting materials, researchers must surrender to staff some form of valid picture identification (such as a passport, driver’s license, or student ID). Additional identification may be required.
  • Please ensure hands are clean before using materials.
  • Handle books and manuscripts with respect and care. It may be necessary to place some items on specially designed foam supports while in use. This assessment will be carried out by the staff.
  • Handle books and manuscripts no more than is absolutely necessary.
  • Do not lean or place pressure upon books or manuscripts. Staff can provide you with appropriate weights to keep pages open.
  • Do not lay books facedown.
  • Do not use books or manuscripts as writing surfaces.
  • Do not reorganize archival documents. Leave all items in the exact order in which they arrive.
  • Use a computer or a pencil and paper for taking notes, or take digital photos (no flash). Ink pens, felt-tipped markers, highlighters, etc. are not allowed.
  • Depending on the nature of the materials being viewed, researchers may be asked to use cotton gloves. These will be provided.

Staff will be available at all times to assist you. If in doubt, ask!

Access and Restrictions

The items in our collections are intended for use, and we encourage you to draw upon them for information and inspiration! However, in some cases public access may be limited by government legislation, university regulations, or other considerations. These special cases include:

Official Records of the University of Windsor

For reasons of confidentiality, a small number of University records are restricted to use by approved units or members of the University. These records may become publicly accessible after a prescribed period of time has elapsed.

Works (Published or Unpublished) for Which We Do Not Hold Copyright

Due to their age, many items in our collections are now in the public domain and can be used and reproduced freely.

However, many other items we hold are still protected by Canadian and international copyright law. This includes both published works (books, pamphlets, etc.) and unpublished works (correspondence, notes, photographs, creative works, etc.). In such cases, it is up to the researcher to abide by the principles of fair dealing and copyright, in any use they make of the items.

Some donors have assigned their copyright to Archives & Special Collections as part of their donation. We will normally grant permission to use and/or reproduce these materials.

Materials Containing Personal Identifying Information or Personal Health Information

Under the terms of provincial and federal legislation governing freedom of information and the protection of privacy, some archival records may need to be reviewed and redacted by Archives staff before being shared with a researcher. This includes personal identifying information (dates of birth and death, contact information, etc.) and personal health information (health conditions, medical records, etc.) when these details are not already a matter of public record, and/or the individual has not given the Archives permission for this information to be shared. These types of information enter the public domain after a certain number of years, and at that time will be made freely accessible.

Restrictions Requested by the Donor

In rare cases, the donors of archival materials request that restrictions be placed on their donation – usually limiting access until after a certain year or limiting the acceptable uses of the material during the period of copyright. Such restrictions are conditions of the legal agreement transferring the materials to the possession of Archives and Special Collections and are strictly upheld.

Camera Use and Reproductions

Digital Scans and Photocopies
  • Reproductions (digital scans or photocopies) of small amounts of our materials are available for a small (per-page) cost-recovery fee. However, we are not able to reproduce large quantities of material. Instead, we encourage you to visit in person to consult the material, or to hire a local researcher to do so on your behalf.
  • Researchers are not allowed to remove items from the Reading Room in order to personally photocopy or scan them.
  • Reproduction may not be possible for all items, due to the fragile nature of certain materials.
  • Please contact us for current details of reproduction costs, methods of payment, and page limits.
Digital Photography
  • Self-serve digital photography of our materials is allowed, but in order to avoid light damage to the items the flash must be disabled.
  • Researchers must provide their own digital cameras, tripods, etc.
  • An electrical outlet is available in the Reading Room for recharging purposes
Important Note on Use
  • Any scans, photocopies, or photographs of materials still under copyright must only be used in compliance with the fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act of Canada.


Contact Us

If you have questions about your upcoming visit to Archives & Special Collections, or wish to make an appointment to visit at a time other than our posted drop-in hours, please get in touch.

By email:
By phone:  519-253-3000 ext. 3851
In-person:  Leddy Library (Main Building) basement, suite G-100