Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections

How do I access archival or special collections?

The Archives/Secured Collections Research Area (ARA) is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Before requesting materials, you must read these Rules and Procedures and the Library User Conduct Policy, and then obtain an Archives Pass.


Passes are valid for one year; if you renew within six weeks before or after the original expiration date, you may receive a three year pass.
Materials are retrieved Tuesday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Not all materials are stored on site; therefore some may not be retrieved the same day. Material designated "Offsite" is retrieved Tuesday through Friday at 10:00 a.m., but is not retrieved on Saturday.*


Paging request slips for all materials must be submitted at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled retrieval time. Requests submitted after this time will be retrieved at the next scheduled retrieval time, which may not be the same day.


Obtaining a Pass:


  1. Complete a researcher application and submit with a current photo ID to the H&G (History & Genealogy) staff member.
  2. The staff member will review the application and ID; please wait while the pass is produced for you. · Persons 10 and older, without a photo ID, may obtain a pass if accompanied by an adult passholder.


Requests for Retrieval:


  1. You may request up to four items, e.g., a box, volume, or envelope, ten editions of Connecticut's Register and Manual or sixteen aerial photographs per retrieval.
  2. Complete one request slip for each item.
  3. Submit finished slips, with pass, to the information desk by 10:15 a.m. 11:45 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. Requests submitted after this time will be retrieved at the next scheduled retrieval time, which may not be the same day.
  4. Incomplete, incorrect, or illegible slips may result in no retrieval, or retrieval of the wrong item. Corrected slips may be resubmitted for the next retrieval, which may not be the same day.

Within the ARA:

  1. You may enter the ARA after materials arrive.
    An adult must accompany anyone under 18.
    School groups must make prior arrangements for ARA access. Each adult may escort up to three students.
    The ARA is limited to a maximum of 10 persons at one time.
  2. Take only pencils and loose notepaper into the ARA. Exceptions may be approved if you need certain equipment for your research (e.g. camera, computer, or tape recorder) or reference materials (e.g. topographic maps) in order to interpret data from a record. Scanners and portable photocopiers are not permitted. Lockers are available; keys are at the information desk. The State Library is not responsible for personal items.
  3. Show the ARA attendant your pass and a photo ID, and sign in.
  4. Use one item at a time.

    · Initial each request slip as you receive the item.
    · Return finished material to the attendant and initial the request slip indicating its return.
  5. Handle all collections with care.

    · Material must stay on the table.
    · Examine one folder at a time.
    · Close the box lid when examining a folder or object.
    · Do not pass material to researchers using other items.
    · Do not rearrange or repair items. If an item appears out of order or in need of repair, inform the attendant.
    · Wear gloves when handling photographs.
    · Use cushions, props, and weight bags to protect items.
    · Removing library materials from the premises or defacing them is a felony under Connecticut General Statutes, Sections 53a-119(12) and 53a-119a.
  6. Ask the attendant about photocopy procedures. A camera stand is also available for any passholder's use. The State Library reserves the right to deny copying due to condition.
  7. Items may be held over for three working days.
  8. Allow the attendant to inspect your notes when you leave the ARA. Sign out after being cleared.

Copyright and Permission to Publish:


  1. Under certain conditions specified by the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code), the State Library may furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. A user making a request for, or later using, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use" may be liable for copyright infringement.
  2. Possession of a reproduction does not constitute permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast it. Written permission (Request for Permission to Publish form) from the Connecticut State Library must be secured to publish, broadcast, exhibit, resell, or otherwise disseminate or make available in any form including digital or Web publishing, any materials, collections, or portions of collections obtained directly or indirectly from the State Library.


By signing the pass application, you agree to cite the "Connecticut State Library, State Archives" and /or "Connecticut State Library" in any footnotes, bibliographies, photograph captions, museum labels, or acknowledgment frames in any media. Citations should include the record group or item title, significant dates, record group or library classification number, and box or volume number.