Guidelines for Researchers Using the Texas State Archives

Every researcher is responsible for assisting in the preservation of the documents deposited in the Texas State Archives. The following rules are intended to protect and preserve these materials to ensure that the information they contain is available for subsequent visitors.


Researchers are required to register on their first visit and must agree to abide by these guidelines. After presentation of a valid photo identification and proof of current address, the researcher will be issued a registration number. The number will be used on materials request forms and on all copy requests. 

Researchers must sign the Visitor's Register each day upon entering the Search Room. Staff will assign a table for use. All cell phones and beepers should be turned off or silenced at this time. No materials will be pulled until the Visitor's Register has been signed and a call slip completed.

Personal Belongings

Coats and rain gear must be placed in a locker. Any garment removed after entering the Search Room must also be stored in a locker. 

All briefcases, computer cases, camera bags, purses, fanny packs, parcels, personal books, notepads, etc. must be deposited in a locker. All cell phones and beepers should be turned off or silenced at this time. Researchers using lockers must return locker keys when leaving. A fee of $2.00 will be charged for each lost locker key.

Use of Materials

Paper for taking notes is provided, and researchers are required to present this paper and any other material to staff for inspection before it is removed from the Search Room.

Pencils only are permitted for taking notes. A pencil will be provided if the researcher does not have one.

Researchers must exercise every precaution to prevent damage to the materials. Materials must not be marked on, leaned on, folded anew, traced, or handled in any way likely to result in damage. Loose sheets and bound pages should be handled gently and by their edges to prevent soiling the surface of the paper.

Documents and volumes must lie flat on the table. They are not to be placed in the lap or propped against the edge of the table.

Only one box, one Confederate pension application, one court case, or one bill file may be used at the table at a time. No more than five volumes may be on a table at a time. Additional material may be kept on a book truck (if boxes or volumes) or at one of the reference desks (if pension applications, case or bill files). 

Only one folder may be removed from a box at a a time. A pink document marker must be used to hold its place in the box. Items are not to be removed from the folder.

The existing order and arrangement of the materials must be maintained. If a mistake is discovered, please call it to the attention of a staff member. Researchers must not correct finding aids or re-arrange materials.

Materials to be copied will be indicated by enclosing pages to be copied between green START and red STOP markers. Files with material to be copied will be returned to their proper box location and the entire box taken to the copy desk.

Researchers examining photographs must use gloves provided for such use.


Persons under 15 years of age are not permitted to use the materials unless accompanied by an adult. One adult per juvenile researcher is required, and that person will be held responsible for the child's conduct in the Search Room. Children under the age of 12 are not admitted to the Search Room.

Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the Search Room. 

Loud talking and activities likely to disturb other researchers are prohibited in the Search Room. The use of cell phones and beepers is not permitted.  

No materials will be pulled from the stacks after 4:00 p.m. Same day service copy requests are limited to 25 or fewer pages, and no same day service copy requests will be taken after 3:30 p.m. All materials must be collected by 4:30 p.m.


It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure permission to publish material from the State Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel and copyright.  

Researchers intending to cite Archives resources in publications should request a copy of the Texas State Archives Citation Form.








Page last modified: February 14, 2013