Reading Room Policy

The Tufts Archival Research Center (TARC) Reading Room is open Monday-Wednesday, for two sessions (9 am - noon, 1 pm - 4 pm) and for drop-in hours on Thursdays and Fridays (two sessions, 9 am - noon, 1 pm - 4 pm), except on University Holidays.

We rely on our users to help us keep our collections healthy – these simple rules help to balance access with good stewardship.

  • All personal belongings should be stored in the lockers or coat closet. TARC reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before users enter the Reading Room and before they leave TARC.
  • Researchers must wear shoes during their visit.
  • Neither food (including gum and mints) nor drink may be brought into the Reading Room.
  • The use of mobile phones in the Reading Room is only permitted for taking photographs or accessing the internet; phone calls and online meetings (Zoom, etc.) are not permitted.
  • Paper, pencils, and needed references or notes may be used in the Reading Room. Pencils are provided and scratch paper is available on request; pens and highlighters are not allowed. Laptop computers are welcome, but cases and sleeves should be stored in a locker or the closet. The use of personal scanners or video recording equipment is not allowed except by permission of TARC staff.
  • Researchers should work with one box at a time and remove only one folder from a box at a time to ensure that records remain in their original order. Users will be given an oversized “Out Card” to indicate the location of the folder pulled from a box.
  • Archival material, including photographs, must be handled with care – avoid overhandling the material and do leave it flat on the table in its folder. If a filing error is suspected, researchers should report the error to TARC staff; users should not rearrange any material. Users will be provided with nitrile gloves when handling photographs.
  • Please ask for our archival paper slips to mark the location of items you are interested in. Do not pull items from a folder to collect them.
  • Archival materials do not circulate.
  • Access to some materials may require two or more business days advance notice for retrieval from offsite storage. Access policies to Tufts University records can be consulted here - Access Policy.
  • All materials must be returned to their containers or to TARC staff fifteen minutes before closing.
  • The Archives’ stacks are open only to TARC staff.