The University of Alberta Library recognizes that our catalogue and resource descriptions contain language that reflects the biases, norms, and perspectives of the time in which they were created. In particular, for resources about persons and groups, this language is often outdated and harmful. These descriptions also incorporate controlled vocabularies, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, which include some headings (e.g., Indians of North America), that are offensive or inappropriate. We use international standards for description, but support and actively participate in efforts to update and change these practices as we strive for descriptions that are inclusive, respectful, and do not cause harm. We acknowledge the critical importance of community consultation in these efforts, and as residents on Treaty 6 territory and Métis Region 4 we commit to working together with our local communities to make these changes.
Books housed in Bruce Peel Special Collections are listed in the U of A Library catalogue. To view materials held in Bruce Peel Special Collections, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment well in advance, listing the requested materials including author, title, and call number for each item, and indicating which weekday afternoons would work (appointments are generally available Tuesday-Friday 1-4pm). You can narrow your search to the Peel library by selecting “University of Alberta Bruce Peel Special Collections” under “Libraries.” The library’s archival collections (i.e., photographs, correspondence, diaries, business records, etc.) are rarely listed in the library catalogue. Researchers can search for such materials using print finding aids in the Peel library or digital finding aids. Researchers should be attentive to the search terms that they employ and the ways that shifting vocabularies are tied to particular times and places: as explained above, the vocabularies in library catalogues and finding aids are in a constant state of flux, so it may be necessary to think expansively about search terms. Further information related to research collections in the Peel library is available in various formats, including online and in-house exhibitions. If you require research assistance, please feel free to contact a member of the library staff.
Theses and some other items housed in the Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF) have “no loan” status, which means that they cannot be checked out and removed from the library. However, these items can be viewed by appointment in the supervised reading room in the Peel library.
Provided that materials are requested in advance, the materials in the Peel library are available for use by students, staff, and the general public by appointment in the library’s supervised reading room upon presentation of valid photo identification (e.g., ONEcard, driver’s license, passport, or citizenship card with photo).
For the security of researchers, staff, and the collection, there are security cameras throughout the space that are continuously monitored.
There are no computer workstations in the Peel library’s reading room, but researchers are permitted to bring laptops with them. The University of Alberta’s wireless network is available in the library.
Proper handling procedures must be followed at all times. Researchers should familiarize themselves with the Peel library’s Reading Room Policies prior to arrival. If you have any questions about the policies, a staff member will be available to assist you during your visit, or you can contact us in advance.
Researchers who wish to obtain reading copies for personal use may be permitted to take photographs (without flash) of library materials. Consult the Peel library’s Photography Policies for more information. Positioning or arranging library materials in a manner that increases the risk of damage is never permitted.
The following are general rules for using library materials housed in the Peel library. For more specific guidelines for handling books, artists’ books, archives, and photographic materials, please follow the links.
Photographic materials include the following: encased photographs, lantern slides, glass plate negatives, negatives on film, black & white and coloured photographic prints, etc.
Photography is permitted under the following conditions:
Photographs, scans, or photocopies are allowed on the condition that they will not damage rare materials, so we always consider the condition of the original before giving permission for any kind of reproduction.
We can provide high-resolution professional quality images at a cost of $20 each. Contact Jeff Papineau (see Contacts) to be sure that your images are created to the exact specifications needed and to arrange for payment. Researchers are welcome to take photographs themselves using a phone or camera without flash as a less damaging and cheaper alternative to asking our staff to provide photocopies (50¢ each, cash only).
If an image is needed for publication or exhibition use, it is necessary to first obtain permission from the copyright owner, who is normally the author or creator. For more information, you can follow up with the University of Alberta Copyright Office.
Libraries have traditionally charged a fee for the use of images of library materials. Like other U of A Libraries, Bruce Peel Special Collections has waived usage fees on the condition that proper copyright permissions have been obtained (if applicable) and that the following citation is displayed with the image: “Image courtesy of Bruce Peel Special Collections, University of Alberta.”
For information about Peel's hours and services, including requesting a research appointment, check the BPSC location webpage.
The University of Alberta is accessible via Edmonton Transit Service, either through the LRT (University Station) or numerous bus routes.
Bruce Peel Special Collections is located on the University of Alberta’s North Campus, in the basement of Rutherford South. The basement can be reached via the staircases on the west and east sides of the main level of Rutherford South.
Researchers with mobility restrictions can access the library using the elevator located in the southwest corner of Rutherford South building. The elevator can be reached inside through Rutherford South or via the southwest external door (which has a ramp). If you are unsure how to reach the library, or require further assistance to access it, please contact us.
All researchers are welcome to make use of rare materials in the supervised reading room in Bruce Peel Special Collections upon presenting a University of Alberta ONEcard or government-issued photo ID, always provided that they follow proper handling and other protocols as directed. Although nothing additional is needed for access to Bruce Peel Special Collections, visiting researchers who may want access to other libraries or resources at the University of Alberta should consider the following options: