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Appointment Request Procedures

The Arcadia Special Collections Reading Room Hours: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (excluding holidays). 

Access is by appointment only, and appointment time slots are first-come-first-served and dependent on availability in the Archives calendar. We cannot provide access to archival collections on short notice or without an appointment.

Check the Archives Catalog and identify the collection(s), boxes, and files you want to consult. While we can perform limited searches for you, researchers are responsible for consulting the Archives Catalog and other online discovery tools available on the Library & Archives webpage before submitting an appointment request form.

Create a list of your requests in the following format (Collection Name and three-letter code, Box number, Folder number, and URL):

  • Beatrice Wood Collection BWC, Box 1, Folder 1, https://pmalibrary.libraryhost.com/repositories/3/archival_objects/166126 
  • Fiske Kimball Records FKR, Box 103, Folder 1, https://pmalibrary.libraryhost.com/repositories/3/archival_objects/121715

Submit an Appointment Request Form at least three weeks before your desired appointment date; the form is accessible on the Library & Archives webpage.   

Requested materials are served to one researcher per appointment only. A pair of researchers (i.e., a maximum of 2) working on a collaborative project may be accommodated at the discretion of the Archivist.

We are not able to accommodate same-day requests. Ensure all materials to be consulted are listed in the appointment request form. Any materials added after receiving an appointment confirmation email from the Archivist must be submitted three days before the appointment date. We cannot accommodate same-day requests. Requested materials are only served to one researcher per appointment.

Archives staff can assist with making scans, within reason, for researchers as a free service. There is a three-week turnaround for scan requests, and certain items may not be scanned due to their medium type, condition, or size. Additionally, we scan the entire folder, not individual items.

Access Policies and Procedures

All researchers are required to adhere to the following access policies and procedures:

1) Access to the Arcadia Reading Room is by appointment only. Appointment time slots are first-come-first-served and dependent on availability in the Archives calendar. It may also be affected by staff and space limitations.

Each researcher must submit an Appointment Request Form at least three weeks before the desired appointment date. One-month advance notice is required for materials stored offsite. We cannot provide access to archival collections on short notice or without an appointment.

As a courtesy to other researchers, we have a strict late arrivals policy. It is as follows:

  • Appointment hours are based on the Archives' opening hours. They are fixed and cannot be adjusted.
  • Researchers are expected to arrive on time or at least 5-10 minutes early to find the proper entrance to the building.
  • You must notify the Archivist in advance if you are running late or if your schedule has changed. We may reschedule your appointment if this happens.

2) You will receive permission to examine the requested archival materials after completing the Archives Registration Form. Once your appointment request has been confirmed, the Archivist will send a copy of the Archives Registration Form. Complete and submit this form before your appointment date. 

This form includes an agreement to be signed that indicates that the researcher has read the access policies and procedures, the notice concerning copyright law, and the privacy notice. The Archivist will retain the form on file for four years according to the Museum's Records Retention and Disposition Schedules.

3) Requested materials are only served to one researcher per appointment. A pair of researchers (i.e., a maximum of 2) working on a collaborative project may be accommodated at the discretion of the Archivist.

The Museum holds unique and historical materials, and some items may be fragile; therefore, our collective responsibility is to take care of the Museum's archival holdings and ensure its long-term access and use. 

4) We are not able to accommodate same-day requests. Ensure all materials to be consulted are listed in the appointment request form. Any materials added after receiving an appointment confirmation email from the Archivist must be submitted three days before the appointment date. We cannot accommodate same-day requests. Requested materials are only served to one researcher per appointment.

5) Archival materials can only be accessed in the Arcadia Reading Room with an archivist present and must be returned in the same condition as when received for research. The Archives reserves the right to inspect the researcher's belongings, and as a condition to obtaining access to the materials, the researcher consents to such search.

6) Examine records one box at a time, one folder at a time, maintaining the order in which they were received. The researcher will notify the Archivist if anything appears out of order and will not rearrange the records themselves.

7) Researchers are encouraged to request an appointment to consult the materials on-site; however, Archives staff can assist with making scans, within reason, for researchers as a free service. There is a three-week turnaround for scan requests, and certain items may not be scanned due to their medium type, condition, size, or processing level. We scan the entire folder, not individual items. Self-service photocopying or scanning of archival materials is not allowed.

• Provide a list detailing the collection name, box number, and folder number, including the URL or web address at the folder level.
• For researchers onsite, place a flag vertically inside the desired folder.

Note: Unprocessed collections are not available for reference scans; however, they may be consulted on-site at the discretion of the Archivist. 

8) The majority of the audio/visual materials in our collections have not been viewed, processed, or subjected to condition assessment; therefore, they are currently not accessible

9) Use a commonsense approach when handling archival records:

• Do not consume food or beverages of any kind in the Arcadia Reading Room.
• Wash hands before handling archival materials.
• Use pencils only.
• Do not erase or make any marks on the archival documents.
• Do not trace or write on top of the archival records.
• Clean gloves should be worn when examining photographic materials.
• Do not bend or crease brittle paper; support it against a stable, flat surface.
• Always support fragile bound material. Ask for a cradle if needed. Archives staff can also provide a magnifying glass, gloves, and appropriate support for fragile material.
• Do not remove archival materials from plastic sleeves.
• Any improper handling and/or damage will result in materials being taken away from the researcher and their user privileges being suspended. 

10) Digital images may be taken with a camera, mobile phone, or tablet; the flash must be turned off, and no tripod

Researchers are not permitted to bring in and use personal scanners. 

All audible features must be turned off. If you need to make a quick phone call, return the folder to the box, and please step outside the Arcadia Reading Room. You may use the lobby area outside the Library & Archives Main Reading Room. 

11) Personal belongings (e.g., binders, folders, coats, jackets, briefcases, handbags, backpacks, etc.) should not be placed next to you or on the research table. The Archivist will provide instructions on where you can safely leave your personal items. 

Items used for research are allowed (i.e., pencil, paper, laptop, camera, and mobile phone).

12) Requested materials are returned to storage after each appointment. At the discretion of the Archivist, you may request to keep the requested materials in the reading room if followed by a future appointment. Without follow-up within one week, items will be returned to storage.