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Special Collections Policy

Mission Statement

The North Scituate Public Library seeks to collect and preserve materials relevant to the history of Scituate, Rhode Island and New England. The library’s goal is to provide the community of Scituate with the resources needed to research the history of Scituate and its surrounding area as well as the resources to conduct genealogical research.

The North Scituate Public Library collects

  • items relevant to the history of Scituate and its surrounding area (includes Foster and Providence)
  • items relevant to the history of Rhode Island and its surrounding area (includes CT, MA)
  • items relevant to the history of New England

The collection includes books, maps, photos, photocopies, cassettes, scrapbooks, CD-ROMs and Internet resources. Books include tax records, yearbooks, family histories, military rolls, passenger lists and census material. CD-ROMs include, military rolls, passenger lists, genealogies and census material.

Related Items and Resources

New England Historic Genealogical Society’s (NEHGS) web site
North Scituate Public Library’s web site links to Genealogy and Scituate History
Scituate History Database
Genealogy Collection

Use Policy


Registration: Patrons must register at the reference desk in order to use the Local History Collection. Because the collection contains some fragile and unique items, users must be at least 18 years old to register. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who is registered and will be responsible for any items used. A staff member will retrieve the requested item(s) for use in a supervised area.

Photocopying is allowed, as long as it will not damage the item, and should be done by library staff only. Exceptions will be made if the patron is given permission by the librarian. Copyright is the responsibility of the patron. Library staff will determine whether or not an item may be photocopied.

Locating Items: Materials in locked cabinets and closed stacks are not available for browsing. To make the best use of our collection, ask our reference staff to help you with your search. All books in the collection are cataloged and can be found by searching the library catalog (CLAN system). Items such as maps and photos can be looked up in our Scituate History Database, which is linked on our web site. When searching, patrons should be aware that there are copies of many local history books in our circulating collection and they may find the information they are looking for there.

Retrieving Items: Our collection is available during regular library hours. However, we recommend calling ahead to arrange a time when a reference librarian is available. Although other staff members can retrieve items, a reference librarian will be better able to direct your research. Call for reference staff hours or call to make an appointment.

Food and Drink are not allowed in any area where the collections are stored or used.



In order to use the collection, each patron must be registered.
Patrons may register at the Reference Desk or, if the reference librarian is not available, at the Circulation Desk.
At the time of registration, patrons must provide the following information: name, address, phone number, signature and a form of photo identification, such as a valid driver’s license or passport. If a library card is used, the library card number will be kept on file. If a license, passport or other form of ID is used, this should be noted along with the license number, passport number or equivalent.
Patron information will be collected in a sign-in book. Information should include what is required for registration, the date of registration, items used and each time a patron uses the collection.
Once patrons are registered, they must sign in and show identification before using the collection. They may sign in at the Reference Desk or, if the reference librarian is not available, at the Circulation Desk.
If a patron wishes to use the collection but his registration date is a year or more old, that information should be updated before the patron uses the collection.

Use of materials:

Fragile items should be handled by a librarian.
Before allowing patrons to use any materials, make note of any obvious damage.
Returned materials should be returned in the condition they were given.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on November 8, 2005.