Library Policies

Library Policies

The Rakow Research Library is free and open to the public and no appointment is necessary, unless you are requesting access to special collections materials. We strongly encourage all guests to contact us at or +1 (607) 438-5300 before arrival if they plan to use our special collections or conduct in-depth research. Library guests are expected to follow general Corning Museum of Glass visitor guidelines.

Jump to Reading Room Guidelines, Use of Collections, Access to Special Collections and Archives, Digital Camera Policy, Copyright.

Reading Room Guidelines

  • Library guests must sign in and out at the reference desk on the second floor.
  • Backpacks and large bags are not permitted in the collection areas. Ask at the reference desk for storage options.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the reading room, collection, or exhibition areas. Water coolers are available in designated areas.
  • Cell phones and electronic devices should be silenced or set to vibrate when in the Library.
  • Public computers are available for Library research. The Library also offers free Wi-Fi access (network: Rakow Guest).
  • Scanners, iPads, and a color printer are available for guest use. There is no charge for the use of this equipment.
  • To protect Library materials, personal scanners may only be used with permission.
  • Guests are asked to notify a staff member if any “use” damage occurs or if any is found while using materials.

Use of Collections

Library materials are non-circulating and must be used in the reading room. Some items may be available through interlibrary loan. There are separate guidelines for archival and special collections. To access materials in the secured collection areas, please ask at the reference desk. No materials are retrieved within 15 minutes of closing. Special collections are not accessible on the weekends, without prior arrangements.

  • Duplication of any material is for reference purposes only. If you wish to use an item for publication you must contact
  • Scanning, printing, and non-flash photography of general collection materials is permitted and is self-service. See digital camera policy for more information. Photographing of special collections materials is at the archivist's discretion. Scans of trade catalogs, design drawings, archival materials, or other special collections materials can be requested at the reference desk. Staff will try to accommodate your requests during your visit, but it is possible that we may email or send copies up to two weeks after your request has been submitted. For questions, email or call +1 (607) 438-5300.
  • Duplication of audio/visual materials is not permitted.
  • The viewing of special collections materials may be limited, at the archivist’s discretion, to a digital, paper, or microform reproduction of the material.
  • Special collections materials may require special handling, including the use of gloves and book cradles.
  • Special collections materials must be returned to the reference librarian for re-shelving; all other materials may be left on any red cart in the reading room or general collection areas.

Access to Special Collections and Archives

Our special collections and archives contain original, unique materials in a variety of media, formats, and conditions. Library staff are happy to provide researchers with access to these materials. Researchers coming during the week are encouraged to call in advance to determine availability of materials and/or to schedule an appointment for viewing. Weekend visitors must schedule appointments in order to view special collections materials. Finding aids for archival collections are found in ArchivesSpace. Records for all of our special collections and archives are found in our online catalog.

Access is subject to any restrictions placed on materials by statute, office of origin, donors, and sellers, or by the Rakow Research Library for preservation, processing, and other administrative purposes. Researchers wishing to use the Library’s special collections and archives must review and sign our guidelines. Materials will be inspected before they are provided to researchers and when they are returned. For special collections materials, a copy (i.e. microfilm, photocopy, or digital surrogate) may be substituted for the original. Materials will be retrieved until 15 minutes before the Library closes. Special Collections materials are not accessible on weekends without a prior appointment.

Digital Camera Policy

The Rakow Library permits photography in the reading room. We reserve the right to deny requests or revoke the photograph privileges of researchers. Please take time to review the following policies.

  • Photographs are for reference purposes only, and may not be reproduced, shared with others, published, or posted on the internet. If you wish to use an item for publication you must contact For more information ask the librarian at the reference desk.
  • Only digital cameras or cell phones may be used. No flash, tripods, laptop cameras, or special lighting are permitted. Users may not stand on chairs or rearrange furniture to capture a better image.
  • All materials must be handled carefully and staff are available to assist you. Bound volumes must be supported in a book cradle, and pressure must not be applied to bindings. Unbound materials must remain in the original folder and order.
  • The use of reproductions from materials in copyright is subject to fair use provisions of Title 17, United States Code. (see Copyright Notice below)
  • It is the responsibility of each user to keep complete and accurate citations for all items photographed.


The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless The Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.