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Archives Reference Procedures

Visiting the Archives

Our research room is open to the public at no charge during all Archives operating hours. Researchers are encouraged to check with us to verify operating hours and records availability prior to visiting.

Records at the State Archives are available in accordance with the laws of Florida and our own operating rules. All public records are open for use except for those specifically restricted by law or rule (citations for applicable restrictions are explicitly stated in the catalog entry for each collection).

Some personal papers or manuscript materials donated to the Archives may be subject to special conditions or restrictions imposed by the donor(s).

Researchers must be at least 16 years of age or be accompanied by a responsible adult researcher.

On their initial visit to the Archives, researchers will be asked to complete a registration form to obtain a patron ID number. All visitors are required to check in and out with the reference staff.

Original records must be returned to reference staff no later than 10 minutes prior to closing.

Books and microfilm must be returned no later than 5 minutes prior to closing.

All patrons must have removed their belongings from the lockers and exited the research room by closing time.

What can you bring with you?

Allowed materials

In order to help protect Florida's historical records, researchers are asked to follow standard archival procedures by bringing only the following items into the research room:

  • Pencils
  • Note cards
  • Loose blank paper
  • Spiral notebooks without material in the pockets
  • Ring binders without material in the pockets
  • Light wraps such as shawls and sweaters
  • Cameras (no flash)
  • Cell phones (with the ringer and camera flash turned off)

Prohibited materials

Lockers are available to researchers needing to store these items while visiting the Archives.

The following items are strictly prohibited:

  • Any form of ink or ink pens
  • Food, beverage, chewing gum, tobacco products or e-cigarettes
  • Briefcases, bags, purses, envelopes or other containers
  • Any material that might be confused with archival records from the State Archives’ collections
  • Personal scanners, including overhead and wand scanners

All material brought into the Archives will be examined upon leaving.

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.