Regulations for Use

The following regulations are intended to help preserve Harris County’s historically and permanently valuable materials for future generations.

  1. All patrons are required to complete a registration form.
  2. Personal property in the reference area.
    1. No food or drinks of any kind.
    2. Briefcases, notebooks, binders, notepads, bags, purses, and other personal property are not permitted in the reference area. These items will be secured in lockers at the entrance to the reference area during your visit.
    3. Only loose sheets of paper or note cards may be taken into the reference area. Sheets of paper are available from the archives staff. All materials taken from the reference area will be checked prior to the researcher’s departure.
  3. Note taking.  Use only PENCILS or personal computers.
  4. Handling archives materials:
    1. Make no marks, erasures, or any other changes to the documents.
    2. Keep all items on the table while being used. Place nothing in the lap or propped against the table.
    3. Place nothing on top of archives materials; do not write on top of, alter, lean on, fold anew, or trace materials.
    4. Turn pages slowly and carefully, touching only the margins if possible.
    5. Please be sure your hands are clean and free from oil or lotion. Wear the gloves provided when working with photographic materials.
    6. Remove materials from boxes and open folders to use documents or to insert photoduplication sheets.
    7. Keep collections in their existing order and arrangement.
    8. Notify the archivist if you suspect any errors. Do not address errors on your own.
    9. Maintain the sequence of folders within the box.
    10. Maintain the sequence of pages within the folder; pages will stay in order if turned like the pages of a book.
  5. Copies.
    1.  The archives is able to digitize most records.  Please discuss your needs with the Harris County Archives staff.
    2.   Patrons may use a personal digital camera or a cell phone to copy records.  All materials must be approved by the archivist before any digitization begins.  Personal scanners will be approved on a case by case basis.