Governance and Policies

Library Policies


I. Mission Statement

The mission of the Ipswich Room is to collect, preserve, and make available to researchers materials with historic significance concerning the inhabitants, government, institutions, built and natural environments of the Town of Ipswich, including those areas of the original Town which were later incorporated as separate communities. The collections include books, broadsides, manuscripts, maps, memorabilia, microfilm, newspapers, pamphlets, photo‐graphs, postcards, serials, town government documents, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and 16 mm films. These materials are arranged for use by researchers and, as far as possible, finding aids and electronic cataloging information will be provided to promote use of the collection.

II. Standards of Care

A. Acquisition Condition

  1. Title to the items must be free and clear, without restrictions as to use or future disposition. Donors of materials to the Library’s Collections will be asked to execute a Deed of Gift by which they affirm they had clear title to the donated property, that they transfer all rights to that property, including copyrights, to the Ipswich Public Library, and that they understand that the Library may keep, exchange, or sell the donated property at some future date without notice to the donor.
  2. The Library can provide for the storage, protection and preservation of the items in a manner that assures their availability for Library purposes and kept according to professionally accepted standards.
  3. Materials will be retained in the collections as long as they remain useful for the mission and purposes of the Ipswich Room.
  4. Library Director must approve acquisitions.

B. Documentation of the Collections

The Library Director or designee shall create the following records (as appropriate) of the collections in the Ipswich Room:
  1. Deed of Gift, bill of sale, exchange agreements
  2. Accession files which shall record:
  • Accession Number and Date
  • Donor/Vendor’s Name, Address, Telephone, and Email
  • Individual or organization creating records
  • Relationship (if any) to Donor/Vendor
  • Loan Agreements
      3.  Name & Description of Collection
  • Date Range (span and bulk)
  • Quantity and type of materials
  • Provenance (what has happened to these materials since they were created)
  • Location of similar/related materials
  • Physical condition of items in the collection
  • Copyright, if registered (and owner, if known)
  • IRS Form 8283, if applicable (IRS 8282 if materials are returned to donor)
  • Detailed description of collection
  • Preservation / Conservation reports, if any
  • Appraisals provided by donor
  • Deaccession / discard information, if any

Records of accessions shall be promptly created, entered and retained in the Director’s Office. All accession files or other primary records relating to the ownership of the Library’s Ipswich Room collections shall be safeguarded from hazards by the maintenance of duplicate files housed in the Ipswich Room for both security and reference purposes.

C. Access Standards

All materials in the Ipswich Room owned by the Library will be accessioned and catalogued or described fully and the catalogue or collection descriptions, whether in written or electronic medium, will be available to the public upon request.
All archival and library materials will be available to researchers regardless of the purpose of their research. Researchers will complete a registration form indicating at minimum their name, permanent address, and the subject of their research at the time of their first visit, at which time written rules for photocopying and permission to quote will be provided.

III. Types of Programs Supported by the Collection

A. Research

Materials collected and made available shall support the research of patrons in the areas of Ipswich genealogy, history and land ownership. Some official documents are retained permanently to support research needs of the town’s residents and local government.

B. Education

The varied collections in the Ipswich Room shall serve as an educational resource not only to teachers and students in the community but also to residents and visitors, thereby promoting greater appreciation of Ipswich’s place in history.

C. Exhibits

Library staff shall occasionally mount exhibits using Ipswich Room materials. Exhibits may be viewed in the Rogers Room in a secured glass display case. Materials in the collection may be made available on temporary loan to museums upon formal request and approval of the Library Director.

IV. Clients Served

A. General Public

Most patrons who visit the Ipswich Room are genealogists researching their family histories. Ipswich Public Library also provides information by regular mail and e‐mail for people who cannot visit the library in person. A fee of $15 is charged for providing basic genealogical research, other than quick responses, for which there is no charge.

B. Professional Researchers and Genealogists

On occasion professional researchers visit the Ipswich Room to conduct research for publications or exhibitions or to research local properties. Researchers will be referred to other community organizations as needed. It is recommended that professional researchers make an appointment with the Reference Librarian by calling 978‐356‐6648.

C. Teachers and Students

Teachers and students sometimes use the Ipswich Room for research on local history. Small classes may visit the Ipswich Room if arrangements are made in advance.

D. Town Officials

Town officials will sometimes request information from resources in the Ipswich Room. This research is provided without charge.

V. Present Identified Strengths

The collections contain a variety of resources on Ipswich history, including Town records from 1633‐1850 as well as more recent materials, reports prepared by or for town officials or committees, church records, land grants, Vital Records, the Fewkes‐Darling Papers, the Antiquarian Papers, Daniel Treadwell Papers, the Emma Safford collection, publications of the Ipswich Historical Society and Ipswich High School yearbooks. Manuscript collections include the Ipswich Garden Club Papers (1927‐2000), the Ipswich Parish Players Collection (1931‐1942), and Cable Hospital Auxiliary Collection (1956‐1981).

The genealogy collection focuses on early Ipswich families. A small group of reference materials is provided to assist in genealogical research.

Other materials include fiction and poetry by Ipswich authors, fiction about Ipswich by non‐Ipswich authors, nonfiction books about Ipswich and books published in Ipswich. In addition to books and manuscripts the collection includes photographs and maps of Ipswich, video‐tapes of movies filmed in Ipswich, the Ipswich Speaks tapes (a collection of reminiscences recorded by a number of Ipswich people on topics relating to Ipswich), microfilm of local newspapers and a printed index of obituaries.

VI. Cooperative Agreements

The Library has entered into a permanent agreement to house materials on deposit belonging to the Archives Committee, the Town of Ipswich, the Ipswich Historical Society and the Ipswich Historical Commission. The Archives Committee oversees access to these materials. Title to these materials remains with the depositing organizations. Responsibility for the arrangement, description, preservation of and access to these materials remains with these organizations.

VII. Resource Sharing Policy

Ipswich Room materials are not available for inter‐library loan and must be viewed on premises. An exception may be made at the discretion of the Library Director for museum exhibitions. Materials in good condition may be photocopied by researchers. Library staff will photocopy materials in fragile condition. The Ipswich Public Library intends to make some archival materials available through its website.

VIII. Security and Preservation

Controlled access to the Ipswich Room is available during regular library hours without visitation charge. Users must register at the Main Desk. Users must also read and agree to the Guidelines for Handling Archival Materials and the Guidelines for Public Use of the Ipswich Room Archives. Personal belongings will be stored in lockers and users will be escorted to the room by library staff.

Within the Ipswich Room a secured bay houses unique and irreplaceable materials. Library staff will assist users of these materials. Some restricted archival materials require the presence of a member of the Archives Committee for use. Arrangements need to be made in advance to view these materials. Use of laptop computers is allowed. Permission from the Library Director or designee is required for use of scanners or cameras in the Ipswich room.

Materials selected for the Ipswich Room collections receive minimal initial processing using archival quality products. Newly acquired manuscripts will be housed in acid‐free folders and boxes. Materials in this special collection will be evaluated on an on‐going basis for either professional or in‐house preservation.

The Ipswich Room has its own HVAC system to maintain constant temperature and humidity levels to better protect and preserve fragile materials.

IX. Collection Guidelines

Materials will be added to the collection through gift or purchase consistent with the Mission Statement. Ipswich Public Library will not accept any donation with special conditions regarding retention or treatment.

The decision to add materials to the Ipswich Room collections will be made by the Library Director. The library will not appraise materials for donors. Donors should further specify whether they would like to have returned to them materials the library does not wish to add to the Ipswich Room collections

The Library Director will be responsible for deaccessioning decisions. Given space limitations artifacts will not be accepted.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees of the Ipswich Public Library on January 6, 2003


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