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Icon Rules for the Use of Records in the Maryland State Archives

Rules for the Use of Records in the Maryland State Archives

The researcher is responsible for assisting in the preservation of documents deposited in the State Archives. The following rules are intended to protect and preserve these materials to insure that the information they contain is available for the next researcher.


  • Researchers are required to complete a registration form on the first visit. The researcher will be given a permanent registration number to be entered on the visitors' register.
  • Researchers must sign the visitors' register each day upon entering and leaving the search room. The receptionist will assign a desk and locker number for use during the day. Only research materials in open containers are permitted in the search room. All other personal belongings (including purses, brief cases, computer cases, parcels, large envelopes, and closed folders) must be deposited in a locker.
  • Pencils only are permitted for taking notes. Pencils can be obtained in the search room.
  • Laptop computers are permitted in the searchroom and individual outlets are available at each desk.
  • Children under age 15 are not permitted in the search room without permission from an archivist.
  • Parking is reserved for researchers only while they are working at the Archives.
  • When leaving for the day, researchers should take their research materials to the receptionist for inspection, remove all items from the lockers, and return the keys. Researchers are responsible for locker keys and will be required to replace them if not returned.


  • All records should be used with the greatest possible care. Researchers must exercise every precaution to prevent damage to the records. Materials must not be marked on, defaced, altered, leaned on, folded anew, traced, or handled in any way likely to result in damage. Hands should be clean before handling records. Loose sheets and bound pages should be handled gently and by their edges to prevent soiling the surface of the paper.
  • Documents and volumes must lie flat on the table. They are not to be placed in the lap or propped against the edge of the table. Book stands may be used where appropriate.
  • The existing order and arrangement of the records must be maintained. If a mistake is discovered, please call it to the attention of a staff member. RESEARCHERS MUST NOT CORRECT INDEXES AND GUIDES OR REARRANGE MATERIALS.
  • Researchers are responsible for returning all records before departure. No materials may be taken out of the search room or be transferred to another researcher.
  • Permission must be secured from a member of reference management or the senior archivist on duty for the use of tape recorders, digital or traditional cameras, and other special equipment. Personal scanners (flat bed and sheet fed) may NOT be used with archival material at the Maryland State Archives. Hand held digital cameras without flash may be used.


  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the search room, microfilm room, and all other public areas of the building.
  • An effort should be made to maintain quiet in the search room at all times. Extended conversations with other researchers must be held outside the Search Room.
  • No records will be pulled after 4:00 p.m., and materials should be returned by 4:20 p.m. All copy orders must be written by the reference staff and payment for all photocopy orders must be received by 4:00 p.m.


      It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce record material from the State Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel and copyright. One gratis copy of any publication resulting from extensive research at the Archives should be presented to the State Archives.

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This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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