The library has a terrific website and it provided me with a lot of information that I needed to know prior to visiting the facilities. I did have a few further questions that the website did not answer. Sadly, my first attempt in obtaining answers failed (I sent an email on 1/27 and haven't heard anything to date). I had a free moment and decided to give the facility a call.
Thankfully a very friendly gentleman was willing to answer my questions. Just in case others had similar questions, I figured that I would post my questions and the answers I received.
- The Library Rules and Procedures page says "Notes, computers (but not the cases), notebooks, and pencils ONLY are permitted in the Research Rooms." I was curious to know if tablets (iPad, Android tablets) are considered computers and allowed. I also wanted to know if digital cameras were allowed. Guess what! Okay, you know the answer... YES. Tablet computers are allowed into the archives. And digital cameras may be used without the flash. Yeah!!! I love am set with cameras to document my finds.
- Having seen Who Do You Think You Are?, I wanted to know do I needed to bring a pair of gloves? Nope! They supply them when needed.
- The Rules page said that only the staff makes photocopies of the items. So, what are the photocopy fees? The man said $0.25, but you should really just used your digital camera. Well, I was hoping that would be what was allowed, but I'm so glad he confirmed that's what I really should do!
To examine the Naturalization records, I'll be going first to the Microfilm Room. It's self-service and I can access anything without filling out paperwork. Great! He mentioned that I could plan ahead and not exactly what film I was going to access by using their website to look up film numbers. What a great idea! I didn't know that was on the website. (I haven't found this information yet, but that was so nice of him to tell me to look for it). I hope I can find it before my trip to increase my efficiency.
Once I've examined the indexes, I'll be given a reference number for the original documents that are handled only by the OHS staff. If I need more than one item, then I can only use one at a time. I'll have to fill out a call slip, etc. Hopefully those I'm looking for will be in the fewest number of volumes, but we shall see.
I have to give the gentleman (who I forgot to get his name) a big round of applause for helping me know what to expect and prepare for my trip to his facility. I look forward to visiting the State Archives and hope that my family members will stand up and be counted.