Research and Access:
Rules and Procedures for Researchers
The library's primary purpose is to provide access to the B&O Railroad Museum's collections, which include documents, books, drawings, maps, photographs, ephemera, and prints related to the history of the B&O Railroad.
The Rules and Procedures for Researchers have been created to protect and govern the use of the collection. The instructions apply to B&O Railroad Museum members and non-members alike. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the staff for assistance. Researchers must read the following instructions and sign a form acknowledging their agreement to its terms.
- Research is by appointment only and researcher must inform library staff of researching objectives prior to the appointment.
- At the discretion of staff, visitors may be asked to wait until work space is available, or be required to make specific appointments to see certain materials.
- All coats, parcels, briefcases, etc. must be left outside the research area. They may be checked with the staff member on duty, who will store them in an adjacent non-public area.
- Only note-taking materials are allowed in the research area. Visitors who wish to bring reference materials into the area must obtain approval from a staff member.
- Pencils only are allowed in the research area. Mechanical pencils and pens are not permitted in the research area.
- No smoking, eating, or drinking is permitted in the research area.
- All materials must be used on the premises.
- No one under the age of twelve (12) is permitted in the research area.
- Restrooms are located on the first floor of the Annex Building.
Access to the Collection
- Research requests are limited to the minimum essential for immediate research needs.
- The research library's stacks are closed to visitors. Staff member will retrieve material for you prior to visit. When your research is completed, materials are to be left on the desk in the research area. Staff members will reshelve and refile the material.
- When reproductions are available, copies will be used in place of fragile original materials.
- Researchers will be denied access to original documents and research material that is considered too delicate or severely damaged to be safely handled.
- Cataloging and conservation of collection material are ongoing projects. These projects may require temporarily restricting public access to certain materials.
Handling the Collection
- Researchers should expect staff to give instruction on handling methods and to correct inappropriate handling techniques. Ask for assistance if you are unsure of the proper handling method.
- Preserve the existing order and arrangement of all materials. Paper markers are available at the reference desk.
- Place nothing (notepaper, pencils, elbows, etc.) on top of the objects being examined.
- Never touch the image of a print, photograph or drawing.
- Gloves must be worn when handling photographs and hands should be clean when handling other material.
- No marks may be added to or erased from any item.
- Materials must be placed on the table for use, not held in hands or laps.
- Immediately report any damage that occurs during use.
- Do not attempt to refile materials; place them in the designated refiling area.
- Researchers who wish to identify materials for note-taking purposes or to request reproductions should ask a staff member for assistance in determining the correct form of citation.
- Plain paper photocopies are available at $0.50 per copy. All photocopying is done by a staff member. Staff may decline to make copies when the material might be harmed by the copying process.
- Other kinds of photocopies may be purchased through the Photo Duplication Services; pricing is available from a staff member.
- The B&O Railroad Museum reserves the right to refuse photocopies if, in its judgment, the copyright law would be violated.
- The use of personal cameras and digital cameras is not permitted.
Failure to abide by or disregarding any of the above rules will be considered reason for denial of access to the collection and in extreme cases could result in removal from the library, museum, and/ or may lead to criminal prosecution.