Skip to Main Content

Policies & Procedures

Access and Use

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is committed to the stewardship and access of the library and archive collections.  

Patron Categories and Services

Internal Patrons

Internal patrons are individuals currently affiliated with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Board of Trustees, Employees, Interns, Fellows, Volunteers, and Docents. Internal patrons are invited to:

  • Independently use the Engl Library reading room, computers and photocopier/scanner, and general and reference collections at all locations during regular open hours
  • Make appointments for research and reference assistance, access to special collections and archives, and orientations
  • Borrow library collections

Public Patrons

Public patrons are considered all individuals not currently affiliated with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum as defined above under Internal Patrons. Public patrons are invited to use the library and archive collections by advance appointment in the reading room. Appointments should be scheduled at least 5 business days in advance using the Research Appointment Request form.

Reading Room and Collection Access

The Michael S. Engl Family Foundation Library and Archive reading room located in the Research Center serves as the center of activity for the daily operations of the library. Internal users and the public can visit the reading room for reference services, access to library and archive collections, and as a quiet place in which to study and work, subject to the Reading Room Rules of Engagement.

Reading Room Rules of Engagement

  1. Public patrons must sign in and out at the Research Center front desk.
  2. All personal items (i.e. purses, bags, briefcases, coats, materials not essential to research) must remain at the front desk in the lockers provided. Belongings may be inspected when users enter or leave the building.
  3. Food and beverages are not permitted in the reading room.
  4. Paper, notebooks, and books necessary for research are permitted in the reading room.
  5. Electronic devices such as phones and laptops are permitted in the reading room. Please silence mobile phones.
  6. Use of personal digital cameras are allowed for research purposes. Please see the Digital Photography Policy.
  7. Patrons are to request special collections and archives in advance of appointment using the Materials Request form.
  8. Special collections and archives may be consulted only in the reading room, and may not be removed from the building.
  9. All collection material must be handled with great care. Patrons must adhere to the handling guidelines:
    1. In most cases, patrons may handle collection materials with clean, bare hands. All patrons should wash hands prior to using collections. Patrons may be required to wear gloves while viewing certain materials (e.g. photographs). Gloves can and will be provided.
    2. Materials may not be leaned on, folded, traced, or handled in any way likely to damage them.
    3. No books, papers, or other objects (except for book weights provided by staff) may be laid on or affixed to the material.
    4. Patrons should only use pencils and loose paper while working with materials. Post-it notes, pens, and bookmarks are not allowed; only acid-free slips provided by staff should be used.
    5. Bound volumes should be supported by a book cradle unless otherwise instructed.
    6. Only one box may be on the research table at one time and only one folder may be viewed at a time. Materials should be viewed flat on the table.
    7. The exact order of unbound material in folders and boxes must be preserved. Materials should be returned to the folders and boxes they were removed from in the order they were found. Flags will be provided so that patrons can mark where folders have been removed.
    8. Patrons will alert staff to any damage occurring or found while using collections.
  10. Born-digital materials may not be copied, emailed, or otherwise transferred from the reading room.
  11. Digital media duplication services are available. It may not be possible to satisfy all requests due to issues concerning copyright, preservation, or other restrictions. Please see the Library and Archive Reproductions for Personal Use form for more information.

Computers and Equipment

Computers are available and can be used to search the library catalog, online collections, databases, and other digital resources. Computers are equipped to perform standard computer functions, play DVD and VHS, and basic digitization of small format print materials and film.

A photocopier is available. Requests for photocopies must be approved by staff and may be declined if materials are considered too fragile or outside the "fair use" standard. Oversized materials and those in special collections may not be photocopied.

The library and archive offers free Wi-Fi access in the reading room.


The library and archive aims to offer a variety of services in support of research for all patrons. Upon request, staff will assist with the retrieval of materials and with the use of resources. Time needed will vary depending on staff availability. Please contact the library to identify accessible routes, parking and facilities and to confirm that assistance will be available during the time of your visit.


Security staff are present at the Research Center and assist with patron, staff, and collection safety, emergency procedures, and inappropriate or illegal behaviors. The Museum’s security system includes the use of videotaping in the reading room and on the Research Center property.

Collection Storage and Access

The library general and reference collections are stored in open stacks and are available for browsing during appointments and Internal Patron open hours.

Archives and special collections are stored in closed stacks and remotely, and are available to all patrons by advance appointment. Patrons must request materials using the Materials Request form five business days in advance of scheduled appointment. 

Additional Locations

The library maintains and provides Internal Patron access to materials at several Museum  locations such as the Welcome Center in Abiquiú. These collections are available to Internal Patrons during regular operating hours. 

Privacy and Personally Identifiable Information

Collections may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state “right to privacy” laws. Disclosure of information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal cause for action if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person. Patrons agree to make no records of privacy protected information if found within the collections, and agree not to publish, publicize, or disclose such information to any other party for any purpose.