Care of Materials




Unlike other St. Olaf special collections, all visitors are allowed to bring bags and backpacks into the Library, and use most materials without a book cradle. Materials within the library can be located by students and scholars using call numbers through Catalyst, the St. Olaf online database.


Kierkegaard visitors are prohibited from removing any Kierkegaard Library books, articles, or other materials from the Library. Materials are not permitted in the lounge outside the entrance door. Scanning necessary pages is available upon request. In the rare instance that a student or scholar accidentally takes a book outside the Library, he or she is expected to return it as soon as possible.

The Library prohibits marks or notations written on any book in our collection (post-it notes included).


When finished with a Library material, do not shelve or re-shelve the book and article itself. Instead, place finished materials in the re-shelving area to be taken care of by student workers or staff. Always return the “flag” card with the call number for each book. Please inform Library staff members if materials you are using seem in need of repair or, if they do not have a call number taped to the spine, are missing their respective “flag” card.

Rare books from the Rare Book Room can be checked out with the observation of a staff member or student worker, and returned to a student worker when no longer in use. Such materials should not be left out of the vault longer than necessary, and absolutely cannot be left un-shelved overnight.


Food is not allowed past the Hong Kierkegaard Library entrance but covered or capped beverages are acceptable. No drinks of any kind are allowed in the Rare Book Room or when using Rare Book Room materials. If you wish to have a snack or a meal during your time at the Library, you are welcome to use the lounge located outside of the library.


The Kierkegaard Library contains several open study areas, as well as a couple offices open to academic use. The offices are equipped with desktop computers. Personal laptops are welcome and encouraged for use in the library. Excluding long-term scholars, offices cannot be reserved for overnight or long term use (pending extenuating circumstances). One of the offices will be reserved for the Kierkegaard House Foundation Fellow. The remaining offices are first come, first served. Books cannot be used to reserve office space. Any stacks of books left on study tables, office desks, etc. overnight will be reshelved the next morning.

In addition to office space, the library provides several group study areas. These, too, provide students and scholars with access to computers, printing, and work space. Like the offices, specific spots within the public study space cannot be reserved for more than one day. While books and materials may be left at a specific spot during the day, all books must be placed in the re-shelving area, and personal materials removed, by closing time. Bookmarks may be used to mark a specific page in a book; however, given that Library materials are to remain available to all scholars, books and other materials may not be kept from the re-shelving area overnight.


Visitors of the Library are responsible for observing copyright laws with regard to making photocopies for personal use. If a student or scholar plans to photocopy/scan one of the Library’s materials, they must notify one of the staff before they take the materials to the photocopier machine.

  • The photocopy machine is the 2nd door down the hallway to the right. Taking materials to photocopy with permission from Eileen Shimota, Gordon Marino, or one of the student workers is the ONLY circumstance in which materials can leave the Kierkegaard Library.
  • This machine also has the capacity to scan and send the file to your email or a USB drive, which is free of charge.
  • Printed copies can be made using your St. Olaf ID card if you deposit funds on your card. This deposit can be made in the Cage, a café on the second floor of Buntrock, or in the St. Olaf Bookstore.
  • Copying of materials from the Rare Book Room is done by staff only and depends upon the materials’ condition, etc. No photos may be taken in the Rare Book Room without the approval of Eileen Shimota or Gordon Marino.
  • Students and scholars using scanning “pens” to copy materials directly into their computers need to notify us beforehand. We will ask for recognition in any document related to your use of our materials. Again, each scholar is personally responsible for observing copyright law.