Access to Special Collections

Access to Special Collections Policy

This policy is to govern access to print and recorded materials in Special Collections located in the Eloranta Room, Hurd Room as well as anything in the collection that is part of the Archives Collection. This policy is not meant to pertain to objects or art works which are governed by a separate policy [to be written].

Items determined to be suitable for Special Collections will include the 1901 Collection, town histories, town reports, Miles Collection, Olin L. Warner Collection, genealogies of Westminster families, vital records, high school yearbooks, books by local authors/residents, maps of the Town of Westminster, and well as media in the form of movies or sound recordings that pertain to Westminster or its inhabitants.

Copies of some Town histories may be available in the Circulating and Reference Collections.

Items in the collection that are not cataloged or listed in the online catalog will not be readily available on demand. Time must be allowed for the item to be cataloged before the public will have access to it.

If library users wish to use uncataloged items “thought” to be in the Library, advanced notice (two business days) must be allowed for the staff to find the material. The Library user will be notified when the materials are available for viewing.

1. Access to Special Collections or Archives will be available during hours that the Library is open by appointment or during hours to be determined.

2. Any member of the public will be allowed to have access. Members of the public may include serious students, researchers (professional and casual), and people with an interest in the history of Westminster or surrounding towns.

3. Exact copies of rare or irreplaceable items may be presented to the patron in order to preserve the integrity of the original item.

4. Special Collections may be used under the following conditions:

A. Materials will be retrieved by a member of the staff by appointment,
with advanced notice, during appointed times (to be determined), or on demand if staffing allows it. Patrons are encouraged to call the Library ahead of time at 978-874-7416 to speak with the Reference Librarian or Director.

B. Items in Special Collections do not circulate for any reason, nor may members of the public
be left alone in the Hurd Room or in Eloranta Room to consult materials.

C. Print materials must be used at a table near the Public Service Desk (e.g. the
reference tables).

D. To request anything from Special Collections or Archives, the patron must
read and sign a statement for use, sign the log book kept for that purpose,
and leave a photo ID (e.g. school ID, driver’s license) at the Public Service Desk while using items from Special Collections or Archives. A current CWMARS library card may be used as a last resort.

E. In order to protect the Archival or Special Collection material, only pencils or
computers may be used when taking notes. Pens (ball point or ink) may not be used.

F. Please, no food, drinks or gum when using items from Special Collections or Archives.

G. Handbags, briefcases, three-ring binders (especially with pockets), backpacks, over coats, shopping bags, or other large objects must be left at the Public Service Desk when materials from Special Collections or Archives are in use.

H. Items must be returned to the Public Service Desk and upon request, may be kept for a day or two for the convenience of the patron.

I. The staff will return items to the Eloranta or Hurd rooms to be locked up as soon as possible.

J. Walk-ins are asked to bring their own writing materials (paper, pencils, or computer).


The Town of Westminster and Forbush Memorial Library do not hold the copyright to many of the items in its collection. If the work is subject to copyright, the copyright remains with the producer or publisher of the work, others to whom the copyright may have been assigned. The researcher is responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder before publishing any of the material.

Some graphic material may have additional restrictions beyond copyright. If literary rights are involved, it is up to the researcher to respect the owner’s rights.

In addition, we request that is any material that is reproduced from our collections include the credit line “Courtesy of the Forbush Memorial Library, Westminster, MA”.

Making Copies

1. Before copies can be made from Archival or Special Collection material, a member of the staff must examine the item to determine whether it is sturdy enough to withstand being copied.

2. Copies are $.10/page.

3. Some fragile items may not be copied, but a member of the staff might be able to make a copy for a patron.

4. Copies of some fragile items might be made in advance for use in the stead of the original material. This will be determined on a case by case basis as the collections are processed.

5. If a photograph is required for publication or other use, researchers should make their own arrangements or use their own digital cameras.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, November 6, 2008