Services We Provide

The Cambridge Room serves all interested persons as an information resource on the history of Cambridge. Staff answers specific questions received by mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail if the information needed is brief, not readily obtainable elsewhere, and contained in the library’s holdings. Extensive research, as defined by the archivist, into specific subjects is not available. (See the below bulleted list.) The amount of research assistance is provided to researchers at the discretion of the archivist and will vary with the type and volume of requests. Archives staff will provide detailed guidance on the possible sources of the information sought and an explanation of how to use the records involved.

The Cambridge Room provides researchers with the following services:

  • Information about library holdings
  • Instruction and advice for locating materials
  • Document and published materials research assistance to researchers on-site, by telephone, mail, and e-mail
  • Document digitization service
  • Informational literature and selected reading lists

The archives staff is not professionally trained to provide researchers with the following and therefore do not provide:

  • Extensive research, such as but not limited to investigating or reading historical materials that exist in the Cambridge Room to summarize a collection or book, performing subject searches across collections, or conducting research within the Cambridge Room collection or at another institution on behalf of a researcher
  • Specialized research, such as but not limited to in-depth information searches into a particular subject
  • Evaluative research, such as but not limited to assessing or judging historical materials or providing an interpretation for a set of data
  • Reading and evaluating a manuscript or article
  • Selection of items for research or digitization
  • Monetary appraisal of historical records, collections of documents, books, or memorabilia

Long Distance Research Requests
Requests sent to the Cambridge Room are answered in order of receipt; priority is given to requests made in person. Responses to research requests may require two to three weeks to fulfill.

The Cambridge Room charges a research fee for any non-instructional research assistance that will take more than 20 minutes of research consultation time. The research fee is $25 per hour. The first hour must be prepaid and mailed with a completed Research Request Form. This charge is for staff time involved in attempting to answer researcher requests through sources in the Cambridge Room. Photocopies are .50 cents per page. Reproductions of low resolution images are free if e-mailed and $5 if burned to a DVD and mailed, limitations do apply.

Digital Reproduction, Photocopy, and Photo Digitization Policy
Digital reproduction, photocopying, and photo digitization services are done at the discretion of the archivist. The Cambridge Room reserves the right to refuse any copying request that might damage the material, or if in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law. All copies made are for personal research only. Digitization of archival material does not constitute transfer of copyright or property right, nor does it constitute permission to publish in excess of “fair use.”

The Cambridge Room reserves the right to refuse to process orders for researchers who have outstanding unpaid balances at the Cambridge Public Library or the Cambridge Room. Orders are filled on a first-paid first-processed basis. Rush orders are not accepted. Orders placed on-site are given preference over mail orders of the same date. Processing orders over 50 pages may be delayed or refused. Payment may be made by personal check or money order. All payments must be made in U.S. currency. Foreign checks and money orders must be drawn on a branch of a U.S. bank. Mail-order copies are sent by regular mail at the researcher’s expense. Alternate shipping arrangements can be made at the researcher’s expense. The Cambridge Room assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to mail orders by the Post Office or other carriers. There is no warranty expressed or implied for the quality of reproductions beyond providing the best copy using available equipment. Except in the event of staff error, returns are not accepted, and refunds are not made.

Currently, the Cambridge Room cannot make available digital reproductions of audio and moving film nor can it make reproductions of large format materials, such as atlases, maps, and blue prints.

For digital reproduction requests, photocopy requests, and photo digitization requests that are in excess of 1 jpeg, more than 5 pages, or take more than 20 minutes of staff time to fulfill, a fee of $25 per hour will be applied and prorated to the quarter hour based on how much time the order takes to process.

Digital Reproduction Services and Fees
Digital reproduction services are available for long distance research requests, however, certain fees may apply. Researchers can request digital reproductions of archival materials, including photographs, at a low resolution reproduction (200 DPI) for personal or scholarly use, to be sent via e-mail, for no fee. Researchers are not required to complete a form requesting this reproduction service. Staff reserves the right to limit the number of reproductions to 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages in a PDF file. If more than 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages are requested, an hourly rate of $25 will be applied and prorated to the quarter hour based on how much time the order takes to process. If the files exceed 10 MB, the images must be burned to a DVD and mailed for a fee of $5, which includes the cost of the DVD and shipping and handling.

Researchers can request digital reproductions of archival materials, including photographs, at low resolution reproductions (200 DPI) for personal or scholarly use to be burned to a DVD and mailed for a fee of $5 per DVD, which includes the cost of the DVD and shipping and handling. Fees are payable in advance of processing an order. A Digital Reproduction Request Form must be completed by the researcher. Staff reserves the right to limit the number of reproductions to 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages in a PDF file. If more than 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages are requested, an hourly rate of $25 will be applied and prorated to the quarter hour based on how much time the order takes to process.

Photocopy Services and Fees
Photocopy services are available for long distance research requests at .50 cents per page. Fees are payable in advance of processing an order. A Photocopy Request Form must be completed by the researcher. Staff reserves the right to limit the number of photocopies to 50 pages. If more than 50 pages are requested an hourly rate of $25 will be applied and prorated to the quarter hour based on how much time the order takes to process. The Cambridge Room does not provide color copies.

Photo Digitization Services
The Cambridge Room’s historical images, other than those restricted by our terms of access policy statement and any specified restrictions, are accessible to the public. Digital copies of photographs are available, unless restricted by federal copyright law and any collection-specific stipulations. Photo digitization services include providing high resolution digital image reproductions between 300 and 1200 DPI in a variety of formats (.TIFF, JPEG, etc.), however, certain fees may apply. Currently, the Cambridge Room can only provide photo digitization services for non commercial use, including the following:

  1. Personal research, display in private home, or personal gift.
  2. Academic use, which includes dissertation, thesis, class presentation, publication in a scholarly journal, or any academic publication that is not for sale.
  3. Nonprofit use by nonprofit organizations.
  4. Federal, state, or municipal governments or for commercial organizations or individuals engaged in pro bono work for government agencies.
  5. Media outlets, which include newspaper or magazine articles, newscasts, or non commercial documentaries.

A Photo Digitization Request Form must be completed by the researcher. Staff reserves the right to limit the number of reproductions to 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages in a PDF file. If more than 1 jpeg and 5 continuous pages are requested, an hourly rate of $25 will be applied and prorated to the quarter hour based on how much time the order takes to process.

Copyright Policy
The Cambridge Room does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and obtain copyright from the original creator.

The copyright law of the United States, Title 17, U.S. Code, governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction of copyrighted material is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research" (17 U.S.C. § 108). If a researcher makes a request for or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that researcher may be liable to prosecution for copyright infringement. The Cambridge Room reserves the right to refuse to accept a copy order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

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