Since the Archives Reading Room has opened for individual quiet study, we have gotten numerous questions about the rationale for the food and drink restrictions.
The two primary reasons why food and drink are not permitted in the Archives Reading Room are as follows:
- Wherever food and drink are consumed, there is increased likelihood for crumbs, spills and food waste which can attract pests and thus poses risks for our archival and manuscript collections that are stored in the room next door.
- Researchers use the tables in the reading room to consult rare materials. It is not feasible to clean the tables after each use so we must institute procedures to avoid spills.
Our policy is similar to those at other local universities including the University of Maryland.
I encourage anyone with questions about this policy to contact the Archives for further information.