MSA Search Room Access and Use Policies

    Search Room Access and Reader Registration

  1. Check In and Out
    All researchers must check in at the Archive’s front desk and sign in using their Researcher Card each time they visit. Researchers must check out in the Search 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. Search Room access
    Researchers may not enter the Search Room prior to 9:00 AM and must exit the Search Room before 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.
  4. Building Surveillance
    The MSA security system includes a recording CCTV system in the Search Room.
  5. Personal Materials in the Search Room

  6. Personal Electronics
    Only laptop/tablet computers, digital cameras (flash turned off), Mp3 players and cell phones may be brought into the Search 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.
  7. 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 Search Room.
  8. Cell Phones
    Place cell phones on silent or vibrate mode while in the Search Room. Please make and receive calls only in the lobby or outside the building.
  9. Personal Research Materials
    Personal copies of publications and notes/notebooks are not allowed into the Search Room. At staff discretion, copies of research notes may be made for use in the Search Room.
  10. Food and Drink
    Food and drink are not allowed in the Search 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 Search Room.
  11. Pencils Only
    Pencils are available for researchers to use.
  12. Clothing
    Outer clothing (jackets, coats, etc.) is not allowed in the Search Room. Sweaters, scarves and sports coats may be worn, but if removed must be stored in a locker or hung on the coat rack.
  13. Security Check
    When researchers leave the Search Room with their personal belongings all items must be checked by an Archives Services staff member.
  14. Working with Collection Materials

  15. 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 Search 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Leaving the Search Room
    Please return all materials to the staff member on duty before leaving the Search Room for an extended period (more than 15 minutes). If you must leave the Search Room temporarily, alert a staff member.
  19. Reference Reproductions

  20. Reference photography
    Only non-flash photography, within the confines of current copyright law, is allowed in the Search Room. Please speak to a staff member before taking digital photographs.
  21. Specialized equipment
    Photography with a tripod-mounted camera, lighting enhancements, or use of scanning or video/sound recording equipment is not permitted in the Search Room. Please speak to the Archives Staff about the possibility of arranging an appointment if necessary for your research.
  22. 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.

Citation and Image Permissions

The Maine State Archives welcomes use of research materials held by the Archive. Permission is not required for use of research materials in a classroom setting, in academic papers, or in published works. We do ask that you credit the Maine State Archives when using our records. 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.

I have read and agree to abide by the rules for using the MSA Search Room and am aware that failure to comply with these rules may result in being excluded from use of the MSA Search Room. I shall acknowledge the use of the MSA’s collections in any publication which may result from my research through correct citation of sources.