Using Robbins Materials

Reading Room Policies

  • The Robbins Reading Room is for use only by patrons using collection materials.
  • We request advanced registration to access materials. Please email to register.
  • Materials must be handled according to the instructions outlined below under “Handling”p1250665a
  • Robbins Collection materials are non-circulating and must be consulted in the reading room.
  • To request collection materials, fill out a separate call slip for each item requested (call slips are not required for using reference materials).
  • Materials from other libraries, including the Law Library, must be checked out before being brought into the Robbins Reading Room.
  • Reader desks in the reading room are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Robbins Fellows are given priority if the reading room reaches capacity.
  • Patrons may request a hold shelf if they wish to consult materials over a period of time. Hold shelves are for Robbins Collection materials only and will be cleared if not actively in use. Please inform a staff member if you no longer need your hold shelf.
  • No food or drink (including water) is allowed in the reading room.
  • No pens, highlighters, or any other ink may be used in the reading room. Pencils are available at the reference desk.
  • Only acid-free paper may be used as place markers in collection materials (no adhesive notes).
  • Digital cameras may be used to take images for personal research use only. Patrons wanting to take digital photos of Robbins Collection materials must first read and sign a digital camera policy form.
  • Cell phones must be turned off or switched to vibrate while in the reading room.
  • Wet umbrellas should not be brought into the reading room.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the reading room and in all other University of California buildings. 


  • Handling: Handle collection materials with care. Make sure hands are clean and dry. Never write on or erase collection materials. Avoid touching the surfaces of rare book and manuscript pages, as ink can chip or rub off.
  • Writing materials: Ink is not allowed in the reading room. When writing notes, be sure that paper is not placed on top of collection materials. 
  • Book supports: All bound volumes should be placed on book supports while in use. Place unbound collection materials on clean, flat surfaces. Never stack opened books, or lean on or place materials face down.
  • Opening bound volumes: Never force open a book with a tight spine; instead, ask the reading room staff for a book support designed for books with tight spines. Book snakes may be used to lightly hold down the pages of bound volumes.
  • Place markers: Use only acid-free paper strips to mark your place. Never use staples, tape or other adhesives, Post-it® notes, metal or plastic paper clips, thick marking strips, or other destructive objects.
  • Reference book retrieval: You may retrieve reference materials from the shelves. All other materials will be retrieved by reading room staff.
  • Oversized materials: Do not bend, fold, or press flat oversized materials. Please ask reading room staff for assistance with proper supports for oversized materials.
  • Uncut (unopened) pages: If the quire folds of a volume have not yet been cut, please refer the volume to the reference librarian. Only Robbins Collection staff may open uncut pages.
  • Damaged materials: Please notify reading room staff if you notice any damage to the physical condition of collection materials.

Rights and Permissions

It is the patron’s responsibility to determine if any texts or images from materials in the Robbins Collection are under copyright and to seek the requisite permissions. 

For reprint requests or permissions related inquiries, please contact: 

For materials published by the Robbins Collection, please cite the author or editor, title, publisher information, year of publication, and original page numbers. For citations of Robbins publications, please cite the publisher information so that it read as follows: The Robbins Collection: University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. 

When citing photographs or duplications of Robbins Library materials, including manuscripts, the citation should include the original source information, as well as a citation to the Robbins Collection, as follows:
The Robbins Collection: University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Duplicating Materials

Modern books

Robbins Collection materials may not leave the reading room except with the permission of the reading room staff for the purpose of making copies from modern books in the Law Library copy center. Patrons must leave their photo ID at the reference desk until the materials are returned.

Rare books

Requests for duplication of selections from rare books for either personal use or publication should be made to the reference librarian and are determined on a case-by-case basis.