Archives Access and Handling Policy

The Westfield Athenaeum welcomes the use of its special collection materials. In order to facilitate use of our holdings, the following policies have been formulated to ensure the preservation of the collection for all users.

  • Patron requests must be made in advance, by mail, email, or phone, being as specific as possible as to the nature of the material needed, recognizing a week may be necessary to gather the requested materials.
  • Researchers must complete Registration Form to access materials.
  • Please do not bring bags to the research area; bags brought to the area will be searched.
  • Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All materials must be used in the Reference Room under staff supervision.
  • All materials are to be handled with sensitivity. Do not lean on the spine of books or on the materials themselves. Marking, tracing, tearing, smudging, erasing, or writing on items is strictly prohibited. Post-its are not permitted. Gloves may be required.
  • Only pencils and laptops that have been removed from their cases may be used for note taking.
  • Care must be taken to preserve the original order and arrangement of archival and manuscript material. Should any item be missing, damaged, or out of order, please inform the librarian.
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the Reference Room.
  • Materials are not allowed out of the Reference area and are not available for Interlibrary Loan.
  • Access to collections may depend upon the condition of the material, legal restrictions, considerations of confidentiality and privacy, and donor requirements. See the specific collection for permissions or restrictions.
  • Unprocessed collections generally are not available to the public.
  • These items are stored in closed stacks with retrieval by Reference staff only. Patrons are limited to one box of materials at a time in the reference area.
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