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Sherman Library Access Policy

Sherman Library is open to the public.  Any individual 18 years of age or older may register as a researcher.  Individuals under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

All researchers must complete a researcher registration form, present a government issued picture ID, and read Rules for Using Manuscript Collections at Sherman Library. An authorized Sherman Library representative must approve the application before a researcher may use materials.

Use of all collections is contingent upon following Sherman Library rules.  Failure to follow Sherman Library rules, or failure to follow the guidance of Sherman Library staff may result in the revocation of research privileges. The damage, destruction, or theft of materials may result in the revocation of research privileges, legal action, and you may be required to reimburse Sherman Library for the cost of repair or replacement of the materials.

Potential researchers are encouraged to, but not required to make an appointment to view materials.  Space in our research area is limited, so you may be asked to return at a later time if insufficient space is available.

All processed collections are available for research. Some materials within processed collections may be restricted under terms of the deed of gift for the collection. Portions of unprocessed collections may be made available at the discretion of the Library Director.  Researchers may be required to use copies of items which are particularly delicate or of great value. Use of originals is at the discretion of the Library Director. 

Finding aids for processed collections will be made available in the Sherman Library and on-line through the Online Archives of California.

Researchers wishing to use copies of materials from Sherman Library collections in publications or commercial projects must sign a use agreement and pay any associated use fees.

Establishing the copyright status of items from Sherman Library collections is the responsibility of the researcher.



Rules for Using Collections at Sherman Library

General Rules

  • You must present a valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • You are responsible for safeguarding the condition of the records and books you use. 
  • You must leave personal belongings in the designated storage area. This includes bags, carrying cases, briefcases, purses, books, notebooks, and notepads.
  • Pens and highlighters are not allowed.
  • Pre-written notes must be on loose paper (not on a pad or in a notebook).
  • You may use laptop computers and portable computers. Staff may inspect computers before and after research.
  • You may use a digital camera. You may not use flash.
  • Flatbed scanners must be approved by the staff.  Staff may inspect scanners before and after research.  Use of an automatic feed is prohibited. 
  • Hand-held scanners are prohibited.

  • When working with city directories:

  • Use only one directory at a time.
  • Use the directories at the table.  Do not place them on the floor or across you lap.
  • Reshelf each directory when you are done.

  • When working with textual records:

  • We will provide paper and a pencil.
  • Pressure sensitive notes, such as Post Its are not allowed.
  • You may have on the table one box or bound volume at a time. 
  • You may remove and open only one folder from a box at a time. 
  • The records should stay flat on the table at all times. 
  • The records must be kept in the same order in which they are given to you. If folders in a box or pages in a folder appear to be out of order, do not rearrange the records yourself. Alert the staff instead. 


  • When working with photographs which are not in archival sleeves: 

  • You must wear white gloves, provided by the staff, to protect the records.