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Home > Researchers > Reading Room Access and Use Policies
  • Reading Room Privileges Application.doc
  • Present the completed form with driver’s license or other identification. Please be aware the form includes a signed agreement to abide by the rules for using the MSA Reading Room.

MSA Reading Room Access and Use Policies

Reading Room Access and Reader Registration

  1. Check In and Out
    All researchers must check in at the Archive’s front desk and sign the sign-in log in the Reading Room each time they visit. Researchers must check out in the Reading Room each time they exit the building.
  2. Registration
    First-time researchers must complete a registration form and present a valid government-issued photographic ID. Returning researchers will be asked to present a current researcher card.
  3. Reading Room access
    Researchers may not enter the Reading Room prior to 8:00 AM and must exit the Reading Room before 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment to research outside of these hours contact the Archives Services staff.
  4. Building Surveillance
    The MSA security system includes a recording CCTV system in the Reading Room.

Personal Materials in the Reading Room

  1. Personal Electronics
    Only laptop/tablet computers, digital cameras (flash turned off). Mp3 players and cell phones may be brought into the Reading Room. All other personal belongings must be stored in a locker. The archives staff reserves the right to limit use of approved electronics, including limiting the number of devices and charging cords a researcher places on a worktable, if use of those materials may damage collection materials.
  2. Electronics Cases
    The cases of all electronics must be stored in a locker. Exceptions can be made for tablet computer cases that also act as a prop for tablet use; these cases will be checked by archives staff when researchers exit the Reading Room.
  3. Cell Phones
    Place cell phones on silent or vibrate mode while in the Reading Room. Please make and receive calls only in the lobby or outside the building.
  4. Personal Research Materials
    Personal copies of publications and notes/notebooks are not allowed into the Reading Room. At staff discretion, copies of research notes may be made for use in the Reading Room.
  5. Food and Drink
    Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Room. Only food and beverages in sealable containers may be stored in lockers. The Archives Services staff may ask that food/beverages be removed from lockers if disruptive to the climate of the Reading Room. 
  6. Pencils Only
    Pencils are available for purchase to researchers. 
  7. Clothing
    Outer clothing (jackets, coats, etc.) is not allowed in the Reading Room. Sweaters, scarves and sports coats may be worn, but if removed must be stored in a locker or hung on the coat rack.
  8. Security Check
    When researchers leave the Reading Room with their personal belongings all items must be checked by an Archives Services staff member

Working with Collection Materials

  1. Access to Research Materials
    The MSA is a non-circulating, closed-stacks Archives. No material may be removed from the building. Materials from the collection may be consulted only in the Reading Room. When available researchers must use published versions, digital facsimiles, or microfilm editions to protect the original documents. The Archives Services staff may deny access to items in poor physical condition and the use of unprocessed collections.
  2. One Researcher Per Work Station
    All researchers must work at independent workstations and must make individual requests for materials. At the discretion of the Archives staff, arrangements can be made to accommodate research teams that must work together to complete a specific project. To schedule an appointment for a future date ask to speak to the Archives staff.
  3. Handling Procedures
    Limit handling of items to the minimum necessary for your research and exercise all possible care to prevent damage to materials. Do not lean on, mark, take notes on, or trace on top of books or manuscripts. All researchers must follow specific handling instructions given by Archives Services staff.
  4. Leaving the Reading Room
    Please return all materials to the staff member on duty before leaving the Reading Room for an extended period (more than 15 minutes). If you must leave the Reading Room temporarily, alert a staff member.

Reference Reproductions

  1. Reference photography
    Only non-flash photography, within the confines of current copyright law, is allowed in the Reading Room. All researchers taking photographs must complete a digital photography form, available in the Reading Room, and return the completed form. Please speak to a staff member before taking digital photographs.
  2. Specialized equipment
    Photography with a tripod-mounted camera, lighting enhancements, or use of scanning or video/sound recording equipment is not permitted in the Reading Room. Please speak to the Archives Staff about the possibility of arranging an appointment if necessary for your research.
  3. Reference Reproductions
    There is no self-service photocopying of collection materials. A staff member must approve all requests for copies. Staff will not copy material in violation of copyright law, nor if creating copies will damage the original documents. To make a request, obtain a photocopy request form and follow all staff instructions.  Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research.

Citation and Image Permissions

While the Maine State Archives welcomes use of research materials held by the Archive, we do require that you obtain permission in writing prior to dissemination. Permission is not required for use of research materials in a classroom setting or in academic papers that are not to be published. Please contact the Archive Staff with questions or to initiate a use request. In cases where materials are protected by copyright and the copyright is not held by the MSA additional permission from the copyright holder may be required. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to determine if materials are protected by copyright and to obtain permission from the copyright holder.