Archival Research: Frequently Asked Questions
The information contained in the following Frequently Asked Questions are designed to assist in making your research visit to the JCHS Archives as productive as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who may use the Archives?
The Archives are open to all individuals researching Jefferson County history. Please discuss your research interests with the Curator in advance of your visit by calling the Museum main desk at 315-782-3491.
Do I need to make an appointment to use the Archives?
Yes. Although the Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, the Archives are only open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Appointments are required to visit the Archives and there is a $10 per day fee for nonmembers of the Society. Society members have free access to the Archives. You should schedule your visit at least a week in advance.
What should I bring to the Archives?
You will need pencils and paper for note taking. In the interest of protecting the collections, pens may not be used in the archives area. Laptop computers are permitted; however, depending on the number of staff and volunteers on duty during your visit, you may be required to check your computer case along with any other bags, coat, etc. that you are carrying.
How can I find out what is in your archives?
The JCHS collection does not facilitate browsing as most of the collection is stored in archival boxes and shelved in several areas. You will need to identify the materials you wish to see by using finding aids so that items can be retrieved by archive staff. The archive staff will be happy to answer questions regarding particular collections or our holdings on a specific subject.
Can you assist me with my genealogy research?
As a general rule our collections are organized by donor/subject and have not been indexed by individual names contained within each of the collections. Therefore, it is impossible to determine if a specific individual is mentioned in any of them. Virtually all of the genealogy specific collections were transferred to the Genealogy Department at Flower Memorial Library. Contact information for the Genealogy Department can be found at http://www.flowermemoriallibrary.org/genealogy.html.
Can I view photographs and documents on the Internet?
Only a small portion of our photography and document collections are digitized; thus, are not available online. The best way to access our material is by making a visit to our archives.
May I borrow from the Archives?
No. Materials from the archives are not loaned to individual researchers. All research must be done on-site in the research area with the supervision of archive staff. Organizations wishing to borrow items from the Archives must make prior arrangements with the Curator.
Can I get photocopies or digital images of Archive materials without visiting the Archives?
All requests for copies must be made in writing, by either letter or e-mail; we cannot accept requests made by telephone. You will be sent a Reproduction Request Form on which to indicate those items you would like to have reproduced. All reproduction must be paid for in advance and is subject to approval by archive staff based upon preservation and copyright concerns.
Orders are completed in the order in which they are received. There is neither a rush schedule nor rush fees for reproduction, and we cannot guarantee delivery within a specific timeframe. A $10 minimum fee applies to all orders.
Please allow 1-2 weeks once payment is received for regular orders; larger or complex orders may take longer. We cannot guarantee a date of delivery, and do not offer rush services. All material is shipped via USPS unless prior arrangements are made.
Jefferson County Historical Society
Watertown, NY 13601
May I photograph or scan Archive materials myself?
By prior arrangement and at the discretion of the museum staff, you may take digital photographs for reference purposes only, using your own camera. Flash is not permitted. Scanning is not allowed without prior approval and is subject to our standard reproduction fees.
Can I reproduce or publish material received from the Archives?
Yes. All images reproduced in any medium require the written permission of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Use fees and conditions apply. Permission to publish images is not granted until fees are paid and both you and the Jefferson County Historical Society sign the Permission Request Form. For details, please contact the Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permission usage fees are as follows:
Non-profit: $25.00 per image
For-profit: $50.00 per image
Would you be able to tell me how much an item is worth?
No. We cannot provide appraisals or assign values. Appraisals are the business of booksellers, auction houses, and accredited appraisers.