More Information


All requests to access Special Collections material—including digital items—must be made through your LSC User Account(opens in a new tab). Researchers can request access to digital material by selecting the appropriate box number for the digital material in each collection; please contact in a new tab) for help on how to place a request. Users must agree to a number of terms and conditions. (A complete list of these terms and conditions is available at: in a new tab)). These terms and conditions apply equally to all our material; patrons are NOT required to sign a separate agreement regarding the use of digital materials unless the collection which they seek to access contains uniquely sensitive or legally restricted material that warrants an additional layer of security.

Born-digital materials that have been processed can be made available on the reading room laptop. Born-digital materials that have not been processed may be made available on the reading room laptop if the contents are known (for example, the media is labeled, or the finding aid provides an indication of what the media likely contains) and can be readily accessed in our digital forensics lab. Examples include:

  • Optical media (CD-R/Ws and DVDs)
  • Any contemporary media storage device that is compatible with a Standard-A USB 3.0 USB data connection, including thumb drives, solid state and spinning disk hard drives.

Researchers will access digital material via a locked-down laptop that will be provided by LSC. This laptop runs Windows 7 and includes Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2013. Email collections can be accessed through ePADD (opens in a new tab)which runs using the Google Chrome browser. We do not allow researchers to modify or rearrange any of the digital materials in our collections. However, Ease of Use settings may be customized and NVDA screen reader (opens in a new tab)is installed. Headphones may be used with this machine. Please note that internet connection, Bluetooth connection, and USB ports have been disabled. If this configuration prohibits the use of an assistive device or if special accommodations are required, please email in a new tab) prior to their visit.

The locked-down laptop includes software (ePADD and Gelphi) that allows researchers to perform limited data analysis such as text mining, visualization, topic modeling, etc. While we do allow patrons to make use of these tools for the purpose of assisting with their research, we do not allow them to export or retain the resulting search results, visualizations, etc. '

Please provide as much advance notice as possible when requesting access to any materials falling into the categories listed above.

Due to our limited staff and resource capacity, we are currently unable to duplicate or provide access to unprocessed born-digital material where the contents are unknown (ie, for which we do not have descriptive information) and/or are stored on legacy media that cannot be readily accessed in our digital forensics lab. Material that falls into this category requires a curatorial review and may need further processing before we can provide access to them. Examples include:

  • Floppy disks
  • Any media that are not compatible with a Standard-A USB 3.0 USB data connection. (For a helpful visual reference to assist in identifying other connection types, see the Cable Connector Guides available on the Cables To Go(opens in a new tab) website, and specifically the USB cable guide(opens in a new tab), which contains visual identifiers for all other USB connection types that you’re likely to encounter)
  • Hard disks that have been removed from their protective casing
  • Entire computers or laptops
  • Jaz drives
  • Zip disks
  • Data tape