Guidelines for Using Special Collections
Special collection material may be accessed
(Research Library Collection (1974-) and Microfiche catalogs are available in public
- Public service departments within the
Research Library, listed under "Central Library" or "Research and
Specialized Services" at this site.
- Finding aids or inventories available
through the department administering the collection.
The Alice M. Jordan Collection materials are stored off site and require a minimum of 24 hours notice to be retrieved. To request Jordan collection materials:
- Fill out a Library request slip for each title.
- Submit the request slips at the Delivery Desk (9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. – 5 p. m. Sundays when the Library is open).
- It will take at least 24 hours to retrieve the material from the storage facility.
- Jordan material must be used in the Rare Books Reading Room (hours and directions).
- Patrons can request that materials be held for continued use.
- Special collection material must be used under staff supervision within the Library.
- A number of special collections are housed outside of Copley
Square. Those items in remote storage require a minimum of 24 hours notice to retrieve.
- In most cases an appointment is required
for viewing and use of special collections.
- The physical condition of certain items
and/or donor restrictions may limit use of special collection materials.
- In the Rare Books Department, users are required to check all coats, bags, books, and notebooks at the reception desk.
- The following items are permitted in the Rare Books Department reading room:
- Laptops, cameras, and electronic accessories removed from their cases
- Loose sheets of paper and notecards, though they must be kept to an absolute minimum and are subject to inspection by staff
- Any materials brought into the Rare Books Department reading room are subject to inspection upon entrance and exit. Patrons may be asked to open laptops, present loose papers for inspection, etc.
- Children under the age of 10 are not permitted in the reading room. Children age 10 to 15 may enter the reading room if they are accompanied by a responsible adult, but are not permitted to handle collections materials.
- Once retrieved, it is possible to have
items held for arranged time periods to facilitate research needs.
- Users must have a valid Massachusetts
library card. Courtesy cards are available free of charge for non-Massachusetts residents.
No fees are charged for on-site use of
special collection material. Photoduplication requests (photocopies, photographs,
microfilm) and transfer requests (audio and film material) are subject to fees, item
condition, copyright and donor restrictions. Please inquire about publication fees.
The copyright law of the United States
(Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of
Patrons should be aware that the Library
cannot waive copyright as it applies to materials in its holdings or grant permission to
publish copyrighted materials.
Support of Special Collections
The Library welcomes the interest of
individuals and organizations that may be considering the donation of collections which
will enhance the Library's special collection resources or develop new avenues of
research. Financial gifts enable the Library to:
- purchase material in designated subject
- provide access to collections through
processing and cataloging.
- preserve these resources for future
Please send your inquiry to the
appropriate department at the following address: Research Library, Boston Public Library,
700 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, MA 02116.
Library Telephone: 617.536.5400
Book Delivery/Research Library Stacks:
Fine Arts: 617.859.2275
Music: 617.859.2285 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rare Books: 617.859.2225 (e-mail: email@example.com)
Research Services: 617.536.5400
Special Collections: 617.859.2225 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fax number: 617-536-7758