Accessing the Archives

Access Policies

Researchers must have an appointment for use of archival materials. To schedule an appointment, please visit the Ask the Archivist form. Researchers must schedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance for access to any archival collections. Walk-ins may be accepted on a case-by-case basis for books in the Research Collections ONLY. During the academic year, the Archival Reading Room is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:30am-6:00pm and Thursday 1pm-9pm.

To preserve our materials into the future, we do not allow food, drink, or ink pens in the Archival Reading Room. For items that require sensitive handling, gloves are available in the Archival Reading Room.

Researchers are welcome to use the library’s scanners to produce PDFs or use personal cameras or cell phones as long as they do not damage the material. All materials are subject to US Copyright Law. More information on reproductions can be found below.


Copies of unpublished materials may be used for private research use only. Scans, photocopies, and any other reproduction requests of some items and collections may be restricted due to fragile condition, confidentiality, copyright, request of the creator or the discretion of the Archives and Special Collections Librarian. Reproduction requests are approved on a case-by-case basis, and no collection may be reproduced in its entirety.

Photocopying, scanning, and other duplication fees will be assessed by the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian on a case-by-case basis. If we are mailing the reproduction to you, shipping fees will apply. If the patron requests a reproduction of a recording (cassette, CD, CD-Rom, DVD, or digital audio file) or photograph, the cost will be negotiated with the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. Researchers and those requesting information may also be charged for shipping charges.

You can use your camera to take pictures of the archival materials in the Archival Reading Room when your visit to the School of Theology Archives so long as the item is in the public domain, or you have consent from the donor, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, or other party related to the collection. Any and all reproductions of records are for personal research purposes only.

Closed Records and Restricted Access

Access to some collections may be restricted due to fragile condition, confidentiality, request of the creator or the discretion of the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. Collections will not be available for research until they are processed.

For the New England Conference Commission on Archives and History Collections, administrative records of a general agency are closed for twenty-five (25) year period. Agency personnel files are closed for seventy-five (75) year period. For individuals wishing to look at more current documents, an appeal, in writing, must be made to the School of Theology Archivist and Special Collections Librarian/New England Annual Conference Archivist.

For the School of Theology Archives Collections, and Personal Papers Collections access to certain classes of records is restricted by federal law or request of donor. These include:

• Individual education records of living students or living former students as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, unless the student or former student grants access in writing.
• Individual employment records of living, current or former faculty members, administrators or other staff members, including records which concern hiring, appointment, promotion, tenure, performance, termination or other circumstances of employment.
• Records where usage might constitute an invasion of privacy or which are currently in litigation.
• Records restricted by Deed of Gift.