Use the Research Library

Before You Arrive

Open by appointment only, Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm. Please reach out to to schedule your visit. We ask that you please make an effort to notify us in advance of your visit and request the materials you want to use. This step can help us to streamline your time in the library by pulling materials in advance and suggesting additional resources for research.

Upon Your Arrival

Upon your first visit to the Research Library each calendar year, you will need to complete a researcher registration form.

Compliance with the following security guidelines is a requirement for admittance and use of the library’s reading room and collections. Only the following items may be carried into the reading room:

  • Laptops and tablets (without cases)
  • Digital cameras
  • Cell phones and personal audio devices
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Pencils
  • USB drive

The library’s entry vestibule contains lockers and a coat closet for storing other items which cannot come into the reading room. These include the following:

  • Bags, purses, and pouches of any size
  • Umbrellas
  • All outerwear, such as overcoats, raincoats, parkas, anoraks, windbreakers, and jackets
  • Binders, folders, notebooks, index cards, and books
  • Drinks (including water bottles)
  • Food
  • Pens

Layers of indoor clothing, such as sweaters and blazers, must be worn for the duration of your research visit or left in the vestibule.

Your care and support help us to maintain our collections for future generations. Thank you for your cooperation.

Inside the Reading Room

The Research Library is both an open-stacks and closed-stacks library. Our reference collection is available in the first and second-floor reading rooms, and researchers may pull their own materials. All archival collections and our rare book collection are paged by library staff for use in the reading room.

  • Please ensure your hands are clean before you handle materials.
  • You must use materials in the reading room, as they do not circulate.
  • You will be given one box or one volume at a time.
  • Staff will ask to inspect anything you brought into the reading room, such as a laptop, when you leave.
  • WiFi is available in the library’s reading room.
  • Digital cameras may be used in compliance with the Research Library Photography Guidelines.
  • Do not leave library collections or personal property unattended in the reading room.

Photography for Reference

The library encourages researchers to use hand-held cameras to capture images of library collections for later reference. All photography must be done in accordance with the Research Library Photography Guidelines.


All photocopying is done by the library staff with the exception of microfilm copying, which is self-serve. The charge for photocopies is 25 cents per page. Photocopies made by the library as well as photographs taken by researchers are intended for reference purposes only and may not be reproduced or sold in any form.


Those desiring digital reproductions of library materials or permission to reproduce such images should review the reproduction services we offer or contact us at

Copyright and Use

Use of any NHA Research Library materials must comply with the Research Library Copyright and Use policy.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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