Research Services

Archivist retrieves book for research

Table of Contents:

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Research Support Services

Roosevelt Library archives staff will help you by supplying information about our holdings and by making materials available to you either in our research room or via email, telephone, fax, or mail inquiries. Our ability to help you is greatly enhanced when you are prepared for research in primary sources. Please consult the finding aids to familiarize yourself with the holdings.

If you research onsite, we will provide: 

  • Orientation to our research facilities and in the proper handling of archival materials.
  • Assistance in the use of relevant indexes, databases, and finding aids. 
  • Assistance in requesting materials for research.
  • Assistance in the use of self-service photocopiers. 
  • Guidance to alternate sources of relevant information.

If you contact us from your home or office, we will help you by:

  • Answering your telephone, e-mail, postal mail, or fax queries concerning the availability of records relevant to your research.
  • Researching available indexes and other finding aids to determine whether we hold records relevant to your request.
  • Offering reproductions of the records for a fee or recommending a research visit if necessary.
  • Directing you to additional or alternate sources of relevant information.
  • Providing you the names of freelance researchers for hire who can visit the research room to further assist you with in-depth research.

When You Visit or Contact the Archives

Visiting in Person
When you visit, an archivist at the research room reference desk will assist you. He or she will help you identify the collections most relevant to your topic and help you request the materials you seek. We recommend that you begin your research prior to your in-person visit by using our online finding aids and other sources. The more you know about your topic, its historical context including names, dates, etc., the more efficient and effective your research in the archives will be. The Library staff is happy to answer questions about our holdings and resources.

To save time, your Researcher Application can be printed off, filled out, and brought with you when you come for your in-person visit. Researcher cards cannot be issued in advance by mail because photo ID is required at the time of application.

If you are unsure as to whether our archival holdings contain enough material to warrant an in-person research visit, you may wish to Contact the Archives before making your travel plans. 

Via Ask the Archivist, Telephone, Email, or Postal Mail
The Library will provide answers to specific questions received by telephone, email, fax, or postal mail if we can answer your question in a minimal amount of time. Our staff cannot conduct extensive research for you. Photocopies of specific documents or entire folders may also be ordered for a small fee. The most efficient way to contact the Library for research inquiries is by email:

Policies and Procedures

The Research Room

The FDR Library has a clean research room policy. Personal computers, cameras, scanners, type writers, and tape recorders may be used for taking notes. All paper, books, briefcases, notepads, coats and handbags must be left in a designated area outside the research room. The Library provides note paper, note cards, and pencils.

Digital Cameras

The Library permits the use of digital cameras in the research room. The flash must be disabled, and documents must be properly handled (no folds, creases or tears) during positioning of documents for imaging.

Photocopies and Reproductions

A self-service photocopier is available for a fee inside the research room. Staff will also provide photocopies for a fee; prepayment is required. The Library accepts most major credit cards. 

The only documents that may be copied using self-service copiers are as follows:

  • Documents that are 11X14 inches or smaller.
  • SINGLE PAGE original documents and the FIRST PAGE of multiple page original documents.
  • Multiple-page documents that are served to you in photocopied form may be recopied by you in their entirety, as long as all of the pages are photocopies; that is, there are NO original documents within the attached documents.

More details regarding self-service photocopy procedures will be provided to you at the time of your visit.

Interlibrary Loan

The Library's archival and book holdings are non-circulating, but we may be able to assist you with obtaining reproductions and other research services when you visit or send us a research query (see Contact the Archives). We do not permit self-service photocopying of books in FDR's personal collection.

The Library does loan oral history transcripts, finding aids for manuscript collections and selected microfilms. As many as three items may be borrowed at one time. Loan requests must be made by the researcher's library to the Archives Department using a standard interlibrary loan form and faxing the request to (845) 486-1147 or by mail to:

Archives Research Inquiries
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
4079 Albany Post Rd.
Hyde Park, NY 12538

Citation and Copyright

Unless copyright information is stated in the image caption, all of the digitized material available online from the FDR Library Archives belongs in the public domain. This means that, to the best of our knowledge, the materials may be freely used by the online researcher, teacher, or student. Users of online material should be aware, however, that it is still necessary to acknowledge the source of documents, photographs and other historical material by proper citation. Please see guidance below.

When you do see copyright information associated with documents or photographs, either in-person or on our website, it is your responsibility as a researcher to acquire permission from the copyright owner in order to legally use that material in your project or publication.  

Citing Primary Resource Documents

The preferred method of citation for primary resource documents is to first identify by specific description the date and nature of the document, then identify the folder title, the series (groupings of documents), the collection, and finally the institution. A good rule of thumb is that things are cited in ascending order, from smallest to largest.

Example Your citation of a letter from a manuscript collection may look like this:

Letter, Eleanor Roosevelt to Frances Perkins, January 10, 1939; Folder: Perkins, Frances, 1939; Correspondence with Government Departments, 1939; Papers of Eleanor Roosevelt; Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.

We discourage the use of box numbers in the citation because over time collections can be re-boxed into different sized containers. However, the original order never changes, so the other information provides the exact location of the document regardless of the box.

Citing Public Domain Photographs

Example Your citation of photograph in the public domain may look like this:

Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill at the Tehran Conference, November 24, 1943. Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York.

Citing Digitized Historical Materials Found on the FDR Library Website

All digitized historical documents published on the FDR Library's website are in the public domain. To cite text from a digitized document, include a description of the particular document, its collection, series, and folder, and list the FDR Library website as the archival repository.  Also include 2013 as the version date.

Example Your citation of a digitized document may look like this:

Memo, Franklin D. Roosevelt to Sumner Welles, December 7, 1941, President's Secretary's File (PSF) Safe Files: State Dept., 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum Website; version date 2013.

Citing Digitized Photographs from the FDR Library Website

All photographs from the Archives collection, available by searching the Photographs database, are in the public domain.

To cite historical images in the public domain, provide as much information from the image caption as possible, including the names of the individuals pictured, the location, and the date the picture was taken. Also include the phrase, "Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library website; version date 2013."

PLEASE NOTE: Contemporary photographs of objects and artworks in the Museum collection may be subject to copyright restriction. Please Contact the Museum to inquire about the use of specific object or gallery images.

Example Your citation of a digitized photograph may look like this:

Franklin D. Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, and Sara Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York , 1891. Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum website; version date 2013.

Citing non-historical text from the FDR Library Website

To cite website content other than digital copies of historical material, such as information about the Library or the resources provided by the staff, please include the title and URL of the individual page, and credit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum website. The author should be listed as "Staff of the Roosevelt Library," and please include the version date, "2013."

Example Your citation of website information may look like this:

 About the Archives; Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum website; author: Staff of the Roosevelt Library; version date 2013.