Every action in the Luther College Archives revolves around preserving the Luther College memory, which means patrons accessing any of the original materials in the collection must use special care and abide by a few basic rules.
- Research in the Reading Room: Materials are brought to the researcher to use in the Archives reading room on the third floor of Preus Library. Materials may not leave the room.
- Store personal items: Brief cases, backpacks and portfolios must be stored in the researchers coat rack in the Archives Reading Room.
- No food, drink, or gum: This is designed to help preserve the collections. Spills can irreparably damage documents or require costly repairs by a conservator. The presence of food may also attract insects or rodents that infest archival materials.
- Use of pencil only: This is a preservation practice in case accidental marks are made on archival materials; pencil can be erased while pen marks cannot. Electrical outlets are supplied for laptop computers.
- Reproduction: A photocopier/scanner is available in the Archives Reading Room. It is up to the discretion of the Archives staff to decide what may and may not be safely reproduced. If your research will result in a publication, please see the Archivist for the proper citation giving credit to the Luther College Archives. Before publication please consult the Archivist about any copyright restrictions.
- Use of white gloves: In most cases clean hands free of lotions or perfumes are sufficient for handling materials. Gloves may be necessary for handling objects or photographs in order to protect the materials from the oils and other residues left by hands.
- Handling materials in order: It is important that materials remain in the same order in a box. Misfiling or changes in order can lead the archival staff to assume that items are missing and inconvenience future researchers. For this reason, it is encouraged that patrons only work on one open box at a time and be mindful of the correct order of folders.