Special Collections


Digital Access

NEHGS provides online access to digital images of select materials in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections through the Digital Library and Archive and Online Exhibits.

Access to physical collections

Manuscripts are available to NEHGS members, who are visiting the library, under the following provisions:

  • Please note that some collections are stored offsite and are identified as such in their catalog record. These collections require a scheduled appointment with the Special Collections staff for their use.
  • Manuscripts are requested with a "manuscript request form" submitted to the archivist during normal library hours (forms are available at the 5th and 7th floor reference desks).
  • Researchers determine a manuscript's call number by looking at the catalog record. Check the library catalog for a complete list of entries to date.

Finding Aids to Manuscript Collections

Guides exist for many of our larger collections. These finding aids provide a detailed description of the collection's contents. The catalog record will note if there is an inventory for that collection. Check the library catalog for a list of finding aids available online.


To assist the staff in maintaining the original order of the collections, researchers are requested to observe the following:

  • Researchers can only use one manuscript at a time
  • Use one box and one folder from a box at a time
  • Maintain the existing order of material within each folder and box
  • While in the reading room, please store coats and personal belongings (i.e., briefcases, knapsacks, purses etc.) in the space provided
  • No food or beverages are allowed on the floor and smoking is prohibited
  • Researchers may be required to use digital or microfilm copies of manuscripts when available
  • Researchers using manuscripts are expected to take notes in pencil to avoid making permanent marks (stray or otherwise). Laptop computers and digital cameras can be used
  • All material must be handled with care. Turn pages carefully. Materials should be kept flat on the reading table and nothing (including elbows) should ever be placed on them. Marks may neither be added nor erased. Please do not touch the surface of photographic prints