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VMs: Beinecke Procedures

The following contains some notes on Beinecke procedures:

First, let me say that I was stunned that Beinecke actually allowed me to directly examine the MS without white gloves. I eventually put the gloves on. The staff kept very close vigilence over my detailed examination of the MS. While they encouraged me to ask for any assistance needed, I soon learned that while they might have been willing to comply, the would often/always seek the advice of a higher authority, which I suspect ultimately led to demise and short circuited examination of the MS (well, 3 days wasn't actually short, so I was informed). As I recall, the last straw/request was my petition for a lamp so that I could reduce the strain on my eyes and remove the cast of shadows over the manuscript. The best light to use would be sunlight and I was going through various contortions lifting folio pages to the light which I suspect was not very desireable. In future, those who may have an opportunity to examine the MS would be well advised not to make "special" requests while examining the MS. Sponge supports, weighted "spaghetti" rolls (to help hold down folios curved at the edges or simply to hold the MS open), pencils (pens are not allowed), no loose sheets of paper (a security precaution so nothing gets folded in the paper and tucked away for illicit removal), preferably nothing in your pockets (wallets OK, just don't remove them), laptops are OK and even provided for use at the librarians' desk, lockers are provided at no cost (more or less a 1.5 foot cube), no food or drink (though I have brought the staff donuts and cookies which they appreciate; no flowers, though, because of the possibility of introducing bugs into the library), rulers and magnifying glasses are OK and loaned out at no charge, talking not allowed, no cell phones, no recording devices, surveillance cameras in the reading room, and the ever vigilent staff keeping an eye on those who are examining very sensitive and delicate manuscripts such as the VMs. The stacks are closed and all requests must be made through the library staff. Only one call item may be viewed at a time. Master copies of microfiche and a microfiche reader are available as well.


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