Reference Policy

Information for Researchers - Updated June 2004
The City History Center acquires and preserves records created by, for, and about the city of Schenectady. Some of our records go beyond the City of Schenectady into neighboring townships.

These records, relating to the history of Schenectady, include:
  • Books
  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Moving images
  • Newspapers
  • Official records of the local government
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings


The archives is open to researchers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Access at other times may be arranged with the archivist by appointment.

All visitors are required to register, providing their name, address, signature, and their research topic. Photo identification may be required, especially if requesting a loan.

Researchers requesting specific materials must complete a request form before the materials will be brought out.
Tennis stadium
  1. Coats, briefcases, parcels, and personal books are not permitted in the research area. Leave them at the registration desk. As soon as we get them, personal lockers with keys will be provided. We reserve the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before you leave the premise.
  2. No ink of any kind may be brought into the research area. Use pencil. Laptops may be brought into the archives and used at the discretion of the archivist. Leave cases at the desk.
  3. Smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited in the archives.
  4. Telephones and computers located in the research area are for staff use only.
  5. The archivist will retrieve the materials you need. Handle all archival materials with loving care. Use only one folder at a time and keep papers in their existing order. Do not use sticky-notes on the papers or books. Do not place books or volumes face down. Do not lean or press on the materials. Do not trace maps or other records. Do not put any markings on the documents. Do use white gloves when handling papers, as directed by the archivist.
  6. Materials may not be removed from the research area.
  7. If materials have restrictions placed upon them, the persons requesting access must obtain written authority from the person or agency restricting access.
  8. Researchers are advised that it is their responsibility, not the archives, to obtain copyright clearance to publish or otherwise reproduce or distribute archival material. Whenever possible, the archivist will provide the names and addresses of copyright holders.
  9. If publishing archival material (i.e., unpublished primary source materials), please credit the archives as follows: Efner History Research Library (City History Center) collection name, title of document or names of correspondents, and date. Follow standard citation guidelines for published materials from our facility that you quote or paraphrase in your research.
Unless donor restricted or protected by copyright conditions, or ill-advised due to the fragile condition of the materials, photocopies of material will be supplied for research purposes at the rate of 20 cents per page for standard size (8 1/2 x 11), 25 cents for legal size (8/12 x 14) and 50 cents for 11X17 copies. Although there is no limit on the number of pages, it may not be possible to fill an order on the day of request.

Users that desire copies of photographs, maps, sound recordings, or moving image materials are requested to consult the archivist about conditions and charges. Our general policy is to not allow copying of archival materials by camera or other equipment.

Permission to photocopy does not constitute permission to publish.