Access Policies and Rules Governing Use

Access to collections by researchers is provided by advanced arrangement for collection and staff planning purposes. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Maritime Research Center reference staff prior to making a visit.

• The park requires registration of all researchers using archival, object, and rare library collections, and each researcher using these collections must complete a Researcher Registration form for access to these Park collections. This information must be updated annually to remain valid. All collections requested by the user are recorded.
• All researchers must show a valid picture identification card (driver’s license, U.S. state-issued identification card, or passport) at the time of their visit.
• Access to all materials is dependent upon their physical condition and level of processing to date.
• Researchers should first refer to the Keys catalog or finding aids located online or in the Maritime Research Center before requesting to view any original materials.
• All research must be done on-site in the Maritime Research Center. Researchers are prohibited from access to collection storage areas.
• To ensure the conservation and security of the Park’s collections, browsing is not permitted.

Maritime Research Center Rules:
• Researchers must sign in and out each time they enter or leave the Research Center.
• Pens and markers are prohibited. Only pencils are permitted in the Research Center for note taking.
• Bags, briefcases, packages, handbags, coats, backpacks, and all carried items are not permitted in the Research Center. Lockers are available for storing personal items.
• Food, beverages, tobacco, and chewing gum are prohibited in the Research Center.
• Please set cell phone ringers and all other electronic devices to “silent.” Cell phone use is not permitted in the Research Center.
• Researchers may not remove any library or archival materials from the Research Center. All materials must be used in the Research Center only.
• Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
• Clothing and shoes must be worn at all times.
• Researchers must at all times show due consideration and respect to Research Center staff and other patrons. Behavior considered abusive, or to constitute harassment, will result in removal from the Research Center.

Handling of Materials:
• All materials must be handled with utmost care and viewed only one at a time.
• When handling materials, researchers should be sure their hands are clean and free of lotion.
• Books and manuscripts may not be leaned on, written on, folded, traced over, or handled in any manner that may damage them.
• Researchers shall work with only one document from one folder from one box of materials at a time to avoid damaging a collection and its original order. All folders must be laid flat on the table.
• Researchers must maintain original order of documents within their folders. No attempt should be made to reorder or rearrange documents or folders or to repair any physical damage. Research Center reference staff should be contacted if there is any sign of damage or if items appear to be out of order.
• Cotton gloves must be used when handling photographic items.
• The Park reserves the right to limit access to fragile or restricted materials.
• Instructions from the Research Center or curatorial staff on the handling of materials must be strictly adhered to.

• As a courtesy, the Park grants patrons a limited amount of fair use copies at no cost.
• Reproduction work will not be done without first obtaining a signed Copyright and Privacy Restrictions form from the researcher.
• The use of personal cameras to copy materials is permitted with certain restrictions. Please consult with the Research Center’s reference staff for additional information.
• The Park reserves the right to decline requests for reproduction of items that are fragile or otherwise could be damaged in the duplication process.
• All photocopying or scanning of materials will be performed by Research Center staff.
• Photographic materials may not be photocopied. Please consult with the reference staff about digitization services.
• In an effort to support National Park Service goals of sustainability and “green” practices, reproductions will be created digitally and sent electronically to the extent possible.

When citing items from the collection in bibliographies or footnotes, the following citation format is preferred:

[Creator, Artist, or Photographer's Name]. [Item title or description including date]. [Collection Name], [Catalog Number/Collection Number]. [Location within collection arrangement identified by container number, series number, file unit number, or item number], Museum Archives and Manuscript Collections, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Researchers who disregard these rules or endanger the materials or the work of others will be denied access to the collections.

Last updated: December 5, 2017

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Mailing Address:

2 Marina Boulevard, Building E, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94123


(415) 561-7000
The public information office is open from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. PST during weekdays and we will respond to all messages within two business days.

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