» Accessing collections
» Use & copyright
» Reading room use & registration
» Requesting reproductions
» Citation guide

Accessing collections

In general, access restrictions may be imposed on an entire collection or a portion of a collection depending on the specific circumstance. Access restrictions typically limit what researchers can view for a specified amount of time, and may be placed on materials due to fragile condition, privacy concerns, institutional policies, or donor stipulations.

In the case of University records, certain categories of records are closed to research for 50 years from date of creation, and records containing personal information, such as student records, are closed to research for 80 years. To access restricted records, researchers are responsible for contacting the originating office to obtain permission. These restrictions do not apply to public records which are defined as University records that were intended for public use at the time of creation such as University publications, newsletters, pamphlets, catalogs and student publications, and certain other classes of materials.

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Use & copyright

The Moakley Archive & Institute welcomes you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law.

Although Suffolk University claims physical ownership of all the materials held by the Archive, Suffolk University does not own the copyright to many of these materials (with some exceptions), and therefore cannot grant or deny permission to use them. You are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of materials and obtaining permission to use material from the copyright holder.

The Archive strictly adheres to the United States copyright law (Title 17, US Code) which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. When requested, libraries and archives can provide a photocopy or other form of reproduction of collection materials as authorized by copyright law. The reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If the recipient uses a reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. In addition, these reproductions may not be made for, or donated to, other repositories or further reproduced without written permission from the Suffolk University.

Apart from material protected by copyright law, collections may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations (such as Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 214, § 1B). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Suffolk University assumes no responsibility.

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Reading room use & registration

The Archives seeks to provide an environment for patrons that is conducive to research while at the same time protects the records for future use.

General guidelines:

  • Patrons must read the Reading Room Policy and complete a Registration Form (PDF).
  • Materials in the collections do not circulate. 
  • Handle materials with care. Please do not exert pressure on the materials, such as leaning on, tracing, or writing on them. Gloves for handling photographs and fragile items are available from Archive staff.
  • Please retain the order in which manuscript and photograph collections are placed in the boxes and folders. Use “Place Markers” when removing folders or files from a box, and please remove only one folder or file at a time.
  • No food or drink allowed in the Reading Room.
  • Patrons may use laptop computers, notebooks (bound or spiral), personal cameras, and pencils in the Reading Room. Pens and loose leaf paper are NOT allowed near collection materials. Staff can provide paper and pencil if needed.
  • Lockers and locks are provided for personal items. Please leave laptop cases in locker.
  • Cell phones must be silenced; please refrain from making any calls in the Reading Room.
  • Please wash your hands before you handle any archival material or supplies and after any food breaks.
  • If you would like photocopies, please consult with a staff member. Reasonable requests can be accommodated depending on the condition of the materials and staffing levels. Patrons may use their own personal cameras and camera phones for capturing references copies of materials.
  • Members of the Suffolk University community will receive 20 courtesy copies free of charge.
  • Please be aware that retrieval for off-site material may take 2-3 days.
  • For wi-fi access, please call the University Help Desk at (617) 557-2000, or request access via the Sponsored Visitor Wireless Access request form.
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Requesting reproductions

The Archive provides patrons with reproductions of materials from its holdings when time permits and if there are no restrictions on the materials. Reproduction services are restricted to items owned by the Archive, and are subject to review by staff before the request is processed.

In obtaining a reproduction from the Archive, you assume all responsibility for determining whether any permissions relating to copyright, privacy, publicity, trademark, or any other rights are necessary for your intended use, and for obtaining all required permissions. Written permission from the copyright holder is required for publication, distribution, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use.

General guidelines:

  • Personal camera use is allowed in the Reading Room at no charge; patrons must review and sign the Digital Camera Use Policy
  • Reproduction request forms (PDF) are required to order photocopies; self-service photocopying is not available. 
  • Patrons receive 20 free courtesy copies, additional copies are .25 ¢ per page.
  • Pre-payment is required, please consult with the archivist regarding fees. We accept cash and checks in United States dollars drawn on a United States bank made payable to Suffolk University. Please do not send cash by mail.
  • Same day service is not guaranteed.
  • Applications for Permission to Publish (PDF) are required to reproduce collection materials in print or electronic format. 

Citation guide

The Archive has created this general guide to citing our collection materials. Please note that researchers may need to consult other sources for instruction on specific citation styles.

Guide to citing collections (PDF)

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