Research Use

The WCS Archives is open to researchers by appointment only. To obtain permission to reprint, reproduce, or use any material from the WCS Archives, please email us. Please read the guidelines below before contacting us.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the WCS Archives is currently closed to in-person researchers.  Please email us for more information.

Recommended Resources

For individuals interested in WCS's history, many published resources are available online and in public and university libraries. These resources, listed under the WCS History page, should be consulted before contacting the WCS Archives for an appointment.

Individuals new to researching in archives should check out the Society of American Archivists' Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research, which provides general advice on finding and evaluating archives, understanding copyright and usage restrictions, and reading finding aids.

Reference Inquiries

Reference inquiries may be made by emailing us.  Please note that Archives staff are only able to answer questions that require minimal research, and responses may take up to two weeks.

Research Visits

The Archives are open by appointment. Researchers who wish to consult the Archives should email us with a brief description of research goals, collections to be consulted, and possible dates.

Upon approval, the applicant may set up an appointment to visit the Archives. Appointments must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. 

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the WCS Archives is currently closed to in-person researchers.  Please email us for more information.

Rules and Regulations

Permission to examine WCS collections will be granted subject to (a) any restrictions placed on the collections by donors or by department or office of origin and (b) condition of items. For additional information about restrictions please contact the WCS Archives.

Rules for Visiting Researchers

  1. Researchers must present government‐ or school‐issued identification upon arrival.
  2. Food and drinks are not permitted at the reader’s table.
  3. All personal items, including briefcases, backpacks, handbags, laptop cases, coats, and hats, must be left with the archivist and will be returned upon the researcher’s departure.
  4. Notebooks, laptops, and pencils are permitted at the reader's table. Ink is not permitted.
  5. Archival materials must be maintained in the same order and condition in which the researcher finds them. Please report apparent filing errors to the archivist. No marks or erasures may be made on archival materials.
  6. Arrangements for scanning may be made with the archivist on a limited basis.
  7. Use of personal digital photography for reference purposes only is permitted at the archivist’s discretion..
  8. The researcher may not remove archival materials from the reader’s table.
  9. Upon finishing with a group of archival materials, the researcher should notify the archivist, who will check those materials before additional items are made available.
  10. Upon leaving the library, the researcher must notify the archivist if and when the researcher plans to return.
  11. Upon the researcher’s departure, the archivist or other WCS representative may inspect any personal belonging carried into the library by the researcher.

Photoduplication Services

Please email us regarding photoduplications and associated fees.

Please note that the WCS Archives will provide only scans of requested materials. Permission will be granted subject to access restrictions governing particular materials, staff availability, and suitability of fragile material for scanning.

Usage Permissions

Purchase of scanned material from the WCS Archives does not entitle you to publish the reproduced material. If you desire to make any use of the material other than personal use for reference and evaluation purposes (e.g, editorial [academic, media] or commercial use), you must obtain permission to publish from the copyright holder(s). The WCS Archives is not necessarily the copyright holder of unpublished items in its collections and may not be able to grant permission in each instance. Separate application for permission to quote or to publish the Material must be made to the WCS Archives. Permission to publish shall be at WCS’s sole discretion, and shall be subject to such terms, conditions, and restrictions as may be established by WCS and documented in a separate written agreement.

To obtain permission to reprint, reproduce, or use any material from the WCS Archives, please email us.