Rules and Regulations for Use of the Delaware Historical Society Research Library

  • The Delaware Historical Society Research Library is a privately owned research facility open to the public for historical and genealogical research.
  • Researchers are required to sign in for each visit.
  • Researchers must use on-site lockers for storage of purses, briefcases, book bags, or personal valuables. The Delaware Historical Society is not responsible for the loss or misplacement of any item brought into the library by a visitor.
  • Researchers must hang coats, jackets, etc., on the coat rack in the library.
  • Researchers should have only the personal notes and folders that they need to use at their table.
  • Delaware Historical Society staff reserves the right to check outgoing bags or storage items.
  • Visitors to the library are required to conduct their own research. Staff will provide an orientation to the library and will answer questions relating to the collections, but will not do research for patrons.
  • Researchers will handle all library materials in a respectful and careful manner. Materials should be kept in order in folders.
  • Researchers using closed-stack materials will fill out a closed-stack form the first time they request such materials.
  • Only one closed-stack item will be given to a researcher at a time. The next item will be provided when the first is returned.
  • Pencil only should be used.
  • Personal computers are allowed. Wireless internet access is available; password is dehistory.
  • Access to materials is through Ask Caesar, an online catalog, and traditional card catalogs.
  • Books, bound atlases, and microform located in the Christopher Ward Reading Room are open-stack sources which researchers may access themselves. Manuscripts, photographs, maps, bound newspapers, periodicals, rare books and pamphlets are generally located in closed stack areas and require staff retrieval.
  • Permission to publish materials in the Society’s collections must be obtained in writing from the Chief Curator.
  • Members of the general public are not permitted in closed stack areas unless accompanied by a collections staff member.
  • Scanning or digital reproduction of collections by researchers requires staff approval, filling out a request form, and payment of a daily fee.
  • Depending on condition and copyright regulations, photocopying is permitted and must be done by a staff member. Prices vary by size and quantity.
  • Sources in the Research Library are non-circulating. However, interlibrary loans of microfilm are permitted provided a formal request is submitted by a public or academic research library on behalf of a researcher.
  • Food, beverages, cell phone use, and smoking are not permitted in the library.
  • Unapproved or unrequested commercial solicitations are not permitted.
  • Sleeping, noisy or disruptive behavior, and/or loitering in any form are strictly prohibited and will result in expulsion from the library. Society staff reserves the right to define and identify inappropriate behavior and to take appropriate action.
  • Collections staff has sole authority over questions of access, appropriate use, and duplication issues involving collection materials.
  • Problems or disputes with issues of access, usage, and duplication of materials will be resolved by the Chief Curator, who has final authority. The Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Historical Society will fulfill this role in the absence of the Chief Curator.

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The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide, non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.