The Archives at Queens Public Library: Hours and Policies

Archives Hours of Operation

Mondays, 9am to 9pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9am to 7pm
Saturdays, 10am to 5pm
Sundays, 12pm to 5pm

The Archives is open seven days a week year-round. A reference librarian is always available to assist customers. The Archives is accessible only to people who are using its materials and they must obtain a pass from the Information Desk located at the Library’s main entrance.

Since 1912, the Archives at Queens Public Library has collected, preserved, and made available a myriad of resources that document the social, economic, and political history of the four counties on Long Island—Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. The Archives also serves as the repository of Queens Public Library records.

The Archives has one of the largest collections of primary and secondary resources documenting Long Island. It consists of approximately 36,000 books and volumes of serials, approximately 2,500 cubic feet of manuscripts, 4,500 maps and broadsides, 105,000 photographs, 422 feet of vertical files, and 9,000 reels of microfilm. The Archives has subscriptions to 49 journals and 28 newspapers.

The bulk of the printed material and manuscripts are from the 19th and 20th centuries, but extensive 18th-century material and some 17th-century manuscripts are also held.

Collecting Policy

The Archives divides its acquisitions into three areas:

  1. The Archives acquires primary and secondary resources documenting the natural, social, economic, and political history of Queens County in all formats.
  2. The Archives acquires secondary resources including reference works, monographs, journals, indexes and abstracts and other published works that document Kings, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.
  3. The Archives acquires the records of the Queens Public Library’s Department heads, as well as the organization's publications, board meeting minutes, and other historically valuable records.

The Archives accepts donations and purchases of material that fit within the scope of its collection.

Customer Guidelines: General Information

  • Upon entering the Archives, researchers must sign the register and indicate the purpose of their visit. The admittance pass given to researchers must be given to a staff member.
  • While working in the Archives, researchers must use pencils; they are available upon request. Any type of pen is prohibited.
  • None of the material can leave the premises.
  • A maximum of four researchers may occupy one table in the reading room.
  • Backpacks, bags, cases, etc. should be placed on the floor under the table. This is a security measure and will also prevent the glass on the table from being scratched.
  • Laptop computers may be used at the tables. A power source is available at each table; please ask a staff member for access.
  • Please do not re-shelve any material.
  • If you wish to leave the reading room and plan to return, please ask the staff member for your pass.
  • The Archives reading room is designed for customer use; the Archives office, computer workroom, and closed stacks are for staff only.

Read the Rules for Handling Items at the Archives at Queens Public Library.

Photocopying and Copyright

Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions

The Copyright law of the United States governs the reproduction of copyrighted material. The Archives at Queens Public Library is authorized to provide reproductions of copyrighted material only if the reproduction is used for private study, scholarship, or research. Be aware that responsibility for copyright clearance to use or reproduce the reproduction rests entirely with the user. Be aware the Archives at Queens Public Library owns the physical object but does not necessarily own the copyright to the material.

  • Photocopying an item is at the discretion of the staff.
  • The decision is based upon the size, shape, and condition of the item.
  • Photocopying map atlases is prohibited. Maps that are too large or too fragile to fit onto the photocopy machine cannot be copied.
  • All photocopying is done by staff members.
  • Researchers are limited to 50 copies per day.
  • Page markers are available upon request and must be used when marking pages for photocopying. When a page number is available, please write it on the marker.
  • Researchers must have all their copy requests ready before a staff member will make copies. Payment is due upon completion of the copying.
  • The last copying of the day must be given to the staff 30 minutes before closing.
  • The costs are: $.15 for 8 ½" x 11" and 8 ½" x 17", $.25 for 11" x 17". Costs are subject to change without notice.