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Access and Use

Historical Papers preserves permanently valuable historical records and makes them available for research in our public reading room. The procedures outlined below are intended to protect the integrity of these important research resources.


On your first visit to Historical Papers, you must complete a Registration Form, which also lays out the Terms of Use for the material in each collection.

Researcher Registration form

Before consulting research collections

  • Secure storage is provided just outside the reading room where you should leave books, papers, pens, newspapers, bags, briefcases, computer cases, etc. Ink, marker pens, correction fluid, and post-it notes may not be used in the reading room.
  • You may use a personal computer and a digital camera in the reading room; electrical outlets are available. The carrying case for a personal computer must be left in the storage cabinet outside the reading room.
  • Cameras must utilise the ambient light (no floodlights permitted). Tripods are permitted if they do not take up excessive space.
  • Personal copiers and electronic scanners are normally not permitted.
  • No food, drink, or sweets.
  • White gloves are available, as even clean hands will leave traces of oil.

Using the records

  • You will be asked to fill out request forms for the material you are interested in viewing and you will have to sign for the records delivered to you.
  • Please handle all items with care. Minimise damage to the documents by turning pages slowly and carefully.
  • Original records must remain on the desk and separate from your own notes.
  • Do not place objects, including paper clips and sticky notes, in or on the records. Do not lean on or trace over the records. Do not use a pencil as a pointer and do not make marks of any kind on the records.
  • Do not rearrange or remove papers from file fasteners. If you suspect that material has been wrongly filed bring this to the attention of the Archivist – do not attempt to remedy this yourself.
  • Return records to their containers when you leave the reading room.
  • When departing at the end of the day, please inform the Archives’ staff whether you have finished with the records. If you want to use them within the next five workdays, we will hold the records for you.