Access and Use Policy:

The materials housed in the PCA Historical Center are normally available to members of the PCA and the general public. Certain restrictions do apply to the use of these materials and patrons are expected to know and abide by these common courtesies.

Hours of operation are currently Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays by special appointment. The Center is otherwise closed on weekends and all major holidays.

General Safeguards:
  • No materials may be checked out or otherwise removed from the Historical Center without specific written permission from the Director.
  • The PCA Historical Center operates on a call system. Researchers are not permitted to work in the stacks. Call slips are submitted to the staff, who then retrieve materials for use in the Reading Room.
  • Where copyright laws are not infringed, photocopies may be made of most documents. The staff will copy reasonable amounts of material upon request, with the cost of copying to be paid by the researcher. The current charge [as of March 1, 2001] is fifteen cents per single-sided page.
  • The PCA Historical Center reserves all intellectual property rights to the materials housed in its Collection, either as owner or as trustee, depending upon the records in question. Photocopies made of documents in the Collection are not to be duplicated or otherwise deposited in other locations without express permission in writing from the Director of the PCA Historical Center. Likewise, permission to publish significant portions of any materials held by the PCA Historical Center must first be obtained in writing from the Director.
  • The researcher assumes all responsibility for observing both copyright and libel laws in the use of any materials housed at the PCA Historical Center. The researcher further agrees to hold harmless the PCA Historical Center, its Director and all staff in any actions arising out of the researcher's use of these materials.
  • All materials housed at the Center should be considered fragile. Never place anything on top of the records that are being examined. Researchers should take special care not to place note-taking papers on top of documents.
  • Please endeavor to preserve the order of the materials as they are presented to you. If you find documents out of order, please bring this to the attention of the staff.
  • Please use pencils only for taking notes and take special care not to add any marks to the documents being examined. Pencils will be provided on request. All ink pens, highlighters, and other markers should be left in your briefcase.
  • Researchers are permitted the use of laptop computers, so long as their use does not disturb other patrons.
  • No eating, drinking, or smoking is permitted in the Center's Reading Room.
  • All researchers will be asked to sign a form agreeing to these conditions before access will be permitted to the requested materials.
Restrictions on Specific Materials:
  • Presbytery and Session records are held as restricted materials, due to the nature of the pastoral issues that may be discussed within these records, and so are normally available only to verified members of those bodies. The usual length of this viewing restriction is fifty years from the date of origin, unless otherwise noted. Researchers who desire to examine specific records should first contact the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery or Session in question, requesting a letter of written permission. The original of this letter should be sent by the Stated Clerk to the PCA Historical Center and should be received at least one week prior to the researcher's arrival at the Center.
  • A relative few collections are either in part or in whole under a viewing restriction due to their sensitive content. Outside of Presbytery and Session records, perhaps less than 1% of the Center's holdings fall into this category. Where they occur, these restrictions are prominently posted in the finding aids of the Collection.
  • Researchers may also be restricted from handling particularly fragile or rare items. Where this is necessary, the staff of the Historical Center will seek to find ways to make the content available while protecting the integrity of the materials being examined.
  • Materials which are still being processed are not available for use by researchers. Please understand that the staff can not make these materials available, since this only interrupts the processing procedure and further delays completion of that collection.