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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Archives and Special Collections


Making an Appointment

While our collections must be treated with special care, materials may be viewed by Salem State faculty, staff, students as well as outside scholars, public historians, genealogists, and interested members of the community. Use of these collections is strongly encouraged and visitors to the Archives & Special Collections are always welcome by appointment.

Many items from our collections, including photographs, booklets, and yearbooks, have been digitized and made accessible online. Before requesting an appointment search our Digital Collections for the materials you are interested in.

The Reading Room is available year-round by appointment between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday - Thursday. Appointments must be made in advance. To arrange and plan your visit, please contact the Archives by email at Please note that research visits and durations may be limited due to staff availability and health and safety protocols.

We strongly suggest contacting the Archives prior to your visit, so that we can better serve you by having materials and staff available for your arrival. If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please let us know in a timely manner so that we may accommodate other researchers.

The Archives & Special Collections Reading Room is located in Room G001 on the ground floor of Salem State's Frederick E. Berry Library. To access the Archives, please enter the Library from the main level and descend either the stairs or elevator adjacent to the Library Help Desk to the ground floor. The Reading Room is not accessible through the Learning Commons.

Planning a Class Visit

The Salem State University Archives and Special Collections welcomes opportunities to collaborate with faculty in providing hands-on learning experiences using primary sources and archival materials. Our Reading Room can comfortably accommodate up to 20 students. Please note that capacity may be limited due to health and safety protocols. 

  • To help us prepare for class visits, we require a minimum of two weeks advance notice from when the faculty request is submitted. We recommend that faculty members submit a request by email as soon as possible when planning their semester to ensure availability. 
  • A consultation with the faculty member will be conducted in order to discuss the class visit and determine the best materials to use. At this time, all relevant course materials must be shared with the archivist including the course syllabus and assignment. Confirmation of requested times depends on the archivist’s schedule and space availability in the Reading Room.
  • Unless otherwise arranged, all class visits must occur during our normal operating hours between Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Instruction in the Reading Room is a collaborative process. The archivist and professor must both be present during every class visit to ensure the proper handling and safety of archival materials.
  • Each class will receive a short introduction to the Archives that covers the Policies and Procedures, as well as the proper care and handling of materials. Students and faculty are expected to know and adhere to these guidelines. 

Policies and Procedures

Copyright and Reproductions

  • Researchers assume full responsibility for conforming to copyright, laws of libel, and property rights when quoting or publishing materials. Contact the archivist when considering reproducing or publishing content from the Archives & Special Collections.
  • Suggested Reading: Authors Alliance Legal Guide - Writing About Real People

Reading Room Rules

  • No food or drink allowed

  • All items must remain in the Reading Room; collections do not circulate and are not available for loan

  • Keep bags, coats, and belongings off of the Reading Room tables

  • Handle all items with clean, dry hands

  • Handle all items with care

  • Do not lean on or write on top of items

  • Do not write on, mark, fold, or alter archival materials in any way

  • Keep items and folders in the original order received

  • Only use pencil while in the Reading Room

  • Photography of archival materials is allowed for personal use, some restrictions may apply

  • Laptops, cell phones, and tablets are permitted; all electronics must be silenced

Additional Information

Preparing for your visit