Visiting Researchers

Contacting The Stark Center

We welcome questions and other communication via post, telephone, email, or in person at the Stark Center. The reading room of The Stark Center is open to the public. However, we encourage researchers to contact us. This will allow staff to check University and Stark Center schedules for any potential conflict. It will also allow time to determine availability of resources.To assist staff with the identification of relevant resources, please include the following in your letter or email to us:

  • A description of your research project, including names of primary individuals, time periods of interest, any other information that will narrow the search;
  • Other primary and secondary sources have you already checked;
  • What record formats you are seeking (textual, photographs, electronic, etc.);
  • What you hope to find in our materials, the goal of your visit.

Arriving at The Stark Center

All visitors of The Stark Center must check-in at the reception desk. To protect The Stark Center materials, all bags, briefcases, coats, hats, and purses must be checked in with a staff member before materials may be used.

Notepaper and pencils will be provided. Pre-written notes must be on loose paper and must be stamped by The Stark Center staff before you enter the Reading Room.

Personal electronic devices such as cell phones or i-pods may not be used in the reading room. Up to five (5) books may be brought in but must be indicated with a Stark Center identification strip. All personal items are subject to search by a reading room attendant.

Laptop computers removed from their cases are permitted.

Reference Services

The Stark Center staff encourages students, researchers and the public to contact us with any relevant questions. However, due to staffing constraints, staff can answer only the simplest of reference questions via correspondence (mail, telephone, or email). You may be invited to the The Stark Center to research on your own or you may hire a proxy researcher.

Proxy Researchers

The Stark Center staff recognizes that it may be necessary for researchers to hire or appoint a proxy researcher to work with Stark Center materials on their behalf. The Stark Center staff will accommodate such requests subject to the following:

  • Proxy researchers will read and follow all policies and procedures regarding use of The Stark Center materials
  • Financial arrangements are negotiated directly between the proxy researcher and the patron. The Stark Center staff will not participate in those negotiations nor will the staff recommend any rates of hire
  • Patrons must communicate their research needs to the proxy researcher. The Stark Center staff will provide routine assistance.
  • The Stark Center staff have compiled a list of graduate students and other individuals who are interested in being proxy researchers. Inclusion on this list does not stand as an endorsement by The Stark Center of the individual’s abilities.

Locating Materials

The Stark Center collection is composed of books, manuscript collections, scrapbooks, ephemera, photographs and other miscellany. As we begin to thoroughly process this material, we will catalog all books into the UT Libraries Catalog. Searches may be limited to The Stark Center’s materials by using the “Collections” pulldown menu available on most search screens. Non-book material will be accessible through a variety of collection-specific finding aids, all of which will be posted to our web site upon completion.

However, because at this time much of the collection is still unprocessed, researchers should contact The Stark Center staff for advice. Please review the Reference Services section below.

The Stark Center provides two computers in the Reading Room. Use of these computers is restricted to research related to The Stark Center materials and holdings. General internet searching or e-mail is not allowed.

Once useful materials have been identified, request slips must be completed for each item or group of items. Patrons must provide valid photo identification, to be held by staff as security while collection material is being used. Patrons will be allowed only five items for use at a one time. All items must be returned before other items are pulled.