Notes on collections at the RIHS
New Policy! Cameras allowed starting July 1 at the RIHS Library!
The Rhode Island Historical Society has in its mission a kind of paradox. Our responsibilities are twofold: to PRESERVE the Collection, and to provide ACCESS to said incredible Collection. These two goals sometimes appear to stand in direct opposition to each other, as with our policy that certain items cannot be photocopied because of their age, fragility, or binding.
However, in the interest of increasing access and ease of research, we are instituting a new policy at the library. Starting JULY 1st, 2011, we will allow researchers to bring cameras into the library. Many materials in our collections are too fragile for a photocopying machine but can be photographed without damage. Researchers will now be allowed, in certain circumstances, to take photographs of our materials with their own cameras to make research copies.
There are some limits, of course. Researchers wishing to use their personal cameras must be current Members of the Rhode Island Historical Society and must purchase a Camera Pass (good for one day). All materials to be photographed must be pre-approved. And of course, in accordance with copyright law, just like our photocopy policy, photos taken of historical materials are for study purposes only, and may not be published or exhibited in print or online. For that, we have a Rights & Reproductions division. We welcome you to contact us for more details.