Arthur Neef Law Library

Law Library Procedures for Retrieval and Use of Rare Books

The Law Library is fortunate and honored to have in its collection several hundred books of substantial historical significance. To secure and preserve these rare and valuable materials, circulation and access are strictly limited. Since our renovation in 2000, the Rare Book Collection is separately housed and secured in the Rare Book Room on the second floor of the Law Library. These materials are identified in library catalog search results by the location entry, "WSU Law Library Rare Book Room ."

Retrieving a Rare Book from the Collection

Rare Books may be viewed Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. when reference service is available. To access this collection, please contact Mary Bonk. Phone and e-mail contact information is posted on the Neef Library web site. Rare Books must be viewed one at a time, and only an authorized librarian may retrieve the book. You will be asked to view the book in the staff conference room of the Neef Library.

Because of the special procedures involved, it is recommended that you call ahead to ensure that both book and staff are available to meet your request. If you wish to view rare materials during non-reference hours, you must make prior arrangements with the Law Library Director or Assistant Director.

Special considerations for handling a Rare Book

In the viewing area:

  • Hands are clean
  • No food, drink, tobacco, chewing gum or hand lotion
  • No pens; only use pencil for taking notes

Viewing procedures:

  • Do not force the book open, lean on it, rest anything on it, or rest it face down
  • Turn pages carefully
  • Make no marks in the book, and do not make tracings from it
  • Do not leave the book unattended

Please notify the Reference Librarian if:

  • The book is damaged in any way or if pages are uncut
  • You are having trouble keeping the book open for viewing
  • You want photocopies of pages; this may not be allowed based on the book’s condition or on copyright issues, or may be allowed only upon written request

Return the book to the Reference Librarian immediately when finished. Thank you for your assistance in preserving our Rare Books for future users.

Arthur Neef Law Library
474 Ferry Mall
Detroit, MI USA 48202
(313) 577-3925 / 5498 - fax