In theory, the library subscribes to the standards for access to original research materials adopted by the Society of American Archivists and the Association of College and Research Libraries.  In practice, the library must consider the limited staff available to satisfy users’ demands.  For us to serve our patrons to the best of our abilities, users are asked to comply with the following rules.

Researchers desiring to perform extensive research with materials locked in the Waltham Room are asked to make an appointment with the archivist.  Materials behind the locked gates in the Waltham Room are only available to researchers when the archivist is present.

Users may be asked to complete a form designed to aid the archivist in providing reference services.  No more than three books may be taken from the Archives at one time.  Only one archival box may be used at one time.  Materials must be used in the Waltham Room.  Items must be returned at the Waltham Room desk.  Access to unprocessed collections may be provided at the archivist's discretion.

Many brittle materials are housed in the Waltham Room.  Users are expected to handle these items with great care.  They are expected to take notes with pencil.  No marks of any sort should be made on archival matter.  Materials should be kept flat on the reading table.  Nothing, including elbows, should be placed on original documents.  The user is expected to maintain the materials as they were originally provided.   Any problems (i.e. loose pages, broken binding) should be brought to the attention of the archivist or a librarian immediately.  Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted in the library.

The revised copyright law, which took effect in 1978, provides protection for all unpublished material for the life of the author plus fifty years.  In addition, all  unpublished material created prior to 1978, except that in the public domain, is protected at least through the year 2002.  Users of materials at the Waltham Public Library accept full legal responsibility for observing the copyright law, as well as the laws of libel and invasion of privacy and property rights.  Please consult the archivist if you have any additional questions concerning copyright or rules for reproduction or publishing.  In addition, the archivist may be consulted for suggestions in citing documents.

The charge for photocopying is 10 cents per copy.  The archivist may refuse the right to photocopy when the condition of the original will not permit it or when materials were accessioned with restrictions.

The archivist will spend no longer than one half hour on any single mail, fax, email or phone request.  These requests should generally be restricted to quick reference inquiries such as obituaries.  The archivist will not perform extensive research by mail, fax, email or phone.  The charge for archival research is 25 cents per copy, with a $5.00 minimum fee.  Requests will be handled as soon as possible in the order in which they are received.

Approved by the Board of Trustees
December, 1994
Revised June, 1995
Revised September, 2001