Rules for use of the Library

There is a $10.00 library use fee for non-members, and admittance is free for members. Many of the materials in the library's collections are rare or unique, and often fragile and at risk for damage. Guidelines for the use of library materials have been drafted with the physical safety of the collection in mind. We depend upon our readers to help us maintain the collection by following the library's guidelines for handling materials.

  • To protect the collection, no ink writing implements, beverages or food may be brought into the library.

  • Readers are asked to use lead pencils. All visiting researchers must check coats, packages, briefcases, book bags, oversize handbags and personal books.

  • The book collection is housed in a closed-stack area, and the collection is non-circulating. All records must be used in the reading room.

  • Photocopying and scanning is subject to restrictions based on size and physical condition of the item. Digital cameras may be used, provided that the flash is turned off.

  • There is a limit of 25 photocopies or scans per day. The Bostonian Society does not allow loans of original prints or negatives in the library's collection.

  • Items must be handled with care, and pages turned slowly.

  • Items should remain flat on the table while being viewed.

  • Items should remain in their protective enclosures. Patrons wishing to view items outside of their enclosures must ask the librarian for assistance.

  • The library reserves the right to decline use of its facilities to persons whose intention is incompatible with the library's primary purpose