Notes on collections at the RIHS
You spoke and we listened! Thank you to all who answered our membership survey. Based on your feedback we’ve made a few changes. Beginning July 1, 2012, camera pass and photocopy fees are going DOWN! (Click here for more information about what the camera pass allows).
One day camera passes will be $10 for regular members, $5 for Senior members. Members at the Gaspee Group level and above receive an unlimited number of free passes with their annual membership. (Click here for membership levels and benefits).
Photocopy fees will be cut in half, from 50 cents to 25 cents per page.
Do these reductions mean that the Library is free of financial worries? No. We still depend on and appreciate your support as much as ever. Your membership and additional contribution will help defray the costs of maintaining the Reading Room equipment and move us closer to our goal of purchasing a new Microfilmer scanner/printer. We continue to do all we can to care for our priceless collections and our valued members. Thanks.
About Preservation and Access
The Rhode Island Historical Society has in its mission a kind of paradox. Our responsibilities are twofold: to preserve our unique collections, and to provide access to them. 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.
In the interest of increasing access and ease of research, last year we instituted a new policy. Since July 1st, 2011, we have allowed researchers to bring cameras into the Library. Many materials in our collections are too fragile for a photocopy 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 in accordance with copyright law and our photocopy policy, photos taken of historical materials are for study purposes only and may not be published or exhibited in print or online.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.