I would hope that access would not be so restrictive as to prohibit fair
use. I would hope that you would keep a record of the item being
accessed, the vitals of the person accessing it (photocopy of drivers
license). These two items alone help safeguard the materials from being
purloined, and, over time, give you an idea of what are the most heavily
used parts of your collection.  I would also hope that you prohibit pens
for the taking of notes, and allow pencils only in your reading room. As
for photocopies, a great many materials just won't survive many trips to
the copying machine.  Digital copying is best, via a high res camera on
a photo stand (I know, dream on....) You should insist on proper credit
for materials in the collection.  And, as a matter for the person in
charge of development, make sure you dun the researcher for donations in
the years to come.  You should also give careful consideration to making
your materials available on the internet. I am so greatful to the J.V.
Brown Library in Williamsport, PA for putting their index to the local
paper on their online catalog that they will be on my Christmas list
this year, and they never heard of me.

Tom Perrin,
East Windsor, NJ

Fletcher Blanchard wrote:
> Our local historical society is preparing a policy statement
> indicating its "intent to allow reasonable access to the collections
> by persons with legitimate reasons to access them" as required by
> charter under the NYS Board of Regents. It is not clear if "access"
> means simply the ability to view the collections or also includes
> some way to obtain copies of documents in the collections. In
> particular, we would like to make a clear statement about the
> conditions and limitations involved with patrons wishing to
> copy/reproduce documents in the collection by photographic or
> electronic (scanning) methods. Three of the areas to which this
> statement would apply are documents that have no copyright
> protection, those that have been prepared by an individual or
> organization and that carry a current copyright and those that have
> been prepared and are copyright protected by our Society.
> If you have any suggestions and/or experiences relative to this
> matter, we would appreciate having you share them with us. Please
> post to my personal  address unless you think the topic is of
> general interest to the List.
> Thank you.      Fletcher