Research Procedures

Rules Governing Use of the Archives


The Archives is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is closed on federal holidays.

All materials must be used in the reading room. They may not be borrowed. The researcher is not allowed access to the Archives storage areas.

The researcher may bring only those materials needed for research into the reading room. All briefcases, purses, coats, umbrellas, and other personal articles not essential for research must be left at the coat rack behind the reference desk.

No eating, drinking, or smoking is allowed in the reading room.


The Guest Register must be signed when the researcher enters and leaves the reading room.

The researcher using the Archives must complete and sign a Researcher Registration Form and provide acceptable identification (driver's license, school ID card, etc.). A Researcher Registration Form is for a single research project and is valid for one calendar year.

Use of Archival Records and Manuscripts

The researcher is responsible for the careful handling of all materials made available. Remove only one folder from a box at a time. Do not remove materials from the folders. Maintaining the exact order of material in a folder and folders within a box is of singular importance. If a mistake in arrangement is discovered, please call it to the attention of the reference assistant. Do not rearrange material yourself.

Marks may neither be added to nor erased. Materials may not be leaned on, written on, traced, folded, or handled in any way that may damage them.

Only pencils may be used for note taking. The use of pens of any kind is prohibited. Researchers may use their own battery powered laptop computers, provided that they do so without disturbing others in the library. The use of personal scanners or digital cameras is not permitted.


The Archives will consider requests for limited reproduction of materials when it can be done without injury to the records and when it does not violate donor agreements or copyright restrictions. Permission to duplicate does not constitute permission to publish.

All photocopying of archival material is to be done by the Archives staff. There is no self-service photocopying of archival records. The charge for photocopying is 15 cents per exposure. See the reference assistant for instructions on how to properly flag materials to be duplicated.

Photographic reproduction services are available. The Archives reserves the right to retain negatives made in producing copies. Please see our price list.

Copyrights and Citations

For information on copyright please see our copyright page.

Permission from the Archives must be obtained before records, photographs, and any other unpublished materials from its collections can be published or exhibited. In giving permission to copy, quote from, publish or exhibit, the park does not surrender its own right to publish or exhibit such material, or to grant permission to others to publish or exhibit. If a donor has retained literary rights over materials, the researcher must obtain the donor's permission before publishing from that collection.

Information obtained from the Archives must be properly cited, in both publications and unpublished papers. The citation should include the park name, the title of the collection, and the box and folder numbers. An example of a suggested citation is:

National Park Service

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Grace Lewis Miller Papers

Box 24, Folder 23

Box and folder numbers can be found in finding aids and in the upper corner of folders. The reference assistant can provide bibliographic information on collections which have not been fully processed.

Restrictions on Use

The use of certain materials is restricted by statute, by the creator, or by the donor. For the protection of its collections, the Archives also reserves the right to restrict access to records which are not arranged, are being processed, or are exceptionally valuable or fragile. In some cases copies may be substituted for the originals.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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