State Library of South Australia

Somerville Reading Room conditions of use

Heritage and preservation materials are handled under controlled conditions in the Somerville Reading Room, or in the Audio Visual (AV) Room behind the Information Desk.

On this page:

 Permission to enter / Valid Somerville Reading Room cards

You must have a State Library card or temporary reader's ticket which is valid for the Somerville Reading Room to enter this room. Cards are valid for 2 years, or a temporary reader's ticket can be issued to short-term visitors.

Register for a Library card

To acquire a card which is valid for Somerville Reading Room access you must register for a Library card via this online form, tick the relevant services box, then present proof of identification and current address. A temporary ticket requires a signed paper form and provision of proof of identification and current address.

You are responsible for material issued to you in the Somerville Room: you must not allow anyone else to use your card.

You must notify the Library of any change of name and address or loss of the card. There is a replacement cost for lost cards.

The State Library may cancel or withdraw a card if use conditions are not met.

 When you enter the Somerville Reading Room

You must show your card for scanning every time you enter the Somerville Reading Room.

You may bring laptops, notebooks, loose papers, glasses, wallets/purses, keys and pencils into the room. Please check in all bags (e.g. handbags, shopping bags, satchels, briefcases, laptop bags, document holders) at the Bag Room before entering the Somerville Reading Room.  We can supply a transparent bag for you to bring in any personal items such as small change purse/wallet, pencils, keys etc.

Please switch your Mobile phone off or onto silent mode and leave the room and the library area if you need to answer it.

No food or drink - including water bottles - may be taken into the Somerville Room.

Please behave with consideration for other readers in the room. Keep all conversation to a low tone, and only when really necessary.

 Using materials in the Somerville Reading Room

You may only use Pencils for note-taking, and must not place writing equipment on material, lean or rest any part of the body on materials.
You may use only one archival item (box) at a time. Issuing of other materials is at the discretion of the staff.

Some archival material can only be viewed with permission from the donor. Staff will assist in identifying who to apply to, but it is your responsibility to obtain and show such permission to staff before viewing.

You may not remove materials from the Somerville Reading Room. You must return all materials to the staff before leaving the area for the day.

You must handle all materials gently and wear the cotton gloves supplied if requested by staff.

You must not mark or mutilate pages and must turn them carefully.  Please do not turn pages with moistened fingers - Rubber finger stalls are available on request.

Place large volumes on the reading table (preferably upon a sloping support) so that no part of the volume overhangs the edge of the table.


Copying requests must be completed and placed at the Copy Centre by 15 minutes before closing time. Orders cannot be accepted in the Copy Centre after that time.

You must refer all copying requests to staff.  The Library reserves the right to refuse permission for copying if this is likely to damage items, or if copyright or donor permissions counter-indicate.

 Camera use in the Somerville Reading Room

For information regarding the policy for photographing the Somerville Reading Room and/or its furniture, please read Using cameras in the library

Researchers may take photographs of collection materials for research and study purposes only and as allowed by the Library, based on the physical condition of the materials, copyright law, donor restrictions, and Somerville Reading Room rules.

"Camera" includes mobile phones and tablets.

The following applies to the use of cameras:

  • Customers may NOT remove photographs from protective housing.
  • Use hand held cameras only.
  • No flashes. If extra lighting is required, use the lamps provided. The lamps MAY NOT be moved closer to the material than the height to which they are set as a standard, so as to avoid potential damage to material. The light source should be no closer to the item than 40 cm (about 15 inches).
  • Material may only be placed on the tables provided in the Reading Room.
  • Book rests are available and should be used to support material being photographed. Weights are kept at the service desk to hold pages open.
  • No disturbance of others in the Reading Room.

Photography of Published material

It is not necessary to complete a State Library of South Australia Camera Use Policy form before photographing published items.

If you want to photograph or copy more than a reasonable portion of a publication, you will need to:

  • Acknowledge on a copyright declaration that the copy is for your own use/study.
  • Determine that a NEW copy is not commercially available. The availability of second hand copies is not relevant.

If photographs or copies are made for the purpose of being  incorporated into a publication,  permission must be gained from the copyright holder. (Read more about copyright.)

Photography of Archival Material

The State Library of South Australia Camera Use Policy form is available in the Reading Room, and must be completed AND approved by staff on duty BEFORE photographing archival material.

Staff will provide advice regarding any copying or publication restrictions.

Rules & conditions

 The following rules and conditions also apply to users of the Somerville Reading Room:

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Page last updated: 1:20 PM 14 Jul 2016

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