Due to a major infrastructure project, the FRHS Museum will be closed until further notice, starting July 23, 2023.

The Museum Shop is closed until further notice.

On-Site Research Services

at the Fall River Historical Society

On-Site Research Services

The Charlton Library of Fall River History at the FRHS is open to researchers who wish to access primary source material through the procedures outlined below. Because we are currently in the process of cataloguing, conserving, and reorganizing various items in the collection, some material may not be available to researchers.

Library Access and Use Policy

The FRHS is responsible for appropriately maintaining, preserving, and providing access to materials in its collections, which are held in trust for the benefit of present and future generations. It is the policy of the FRHS to make its collections available to the general public to the greatest extent possible.

We encourage patrons to make an appointment for in-person research in our reading room, where a member of our staff will assist you. The FRHS staff is not obliged to assist with inquiries that involve excessive time or cost to the institution. On site research is available by appointment only, Tuesday – Friday, during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., based on staff availability. Appointments may be made by calling 508-679-1071, ext. 4. We cannot guarantee service to walk-ins for research purposes.

Please note that only pencils or laptops may be used for taking notes; no pens, markers, or highlighters are permitted. Large bags, briefcases, food, and drinks are not permitted.

Access Fees

Library visits are free for FRHS members and students working on school projects; non-FRHS members pay a research fee of $8.00 per day. Researchers will be asked to complete a brief Application for Onsite Research for each appointment and to present a valid form of identification.

Charges to non-profit organizations may be discounted or waived at the discretion of the FRHS. Valid tax-exempt certification must accompany non-profit requests.

Photocopying Policies

Only staff members may photocopy material. Any item determined to be too fragile or rare will not be copied.

For the purposes of preservation, the following categories and types of materials may not be reproduced by photocopying:

Printed Matter

  • Any item for which there is a preservation reproduction (published, copied, or microfilmed)
  • Items published or produced over 75 years from current year
  • Bound volumes of handwritten notes, genealogy, or any other information
  • Fold out maps and charts within bound books
  • Oversized books (larger than 11” x 14” or with a spine thicker than 2”)
  • Genealogy charts
  • Original newspapers

Manuscripts Collection

  • Any item for which there is a preservation reproduction (published, copied, or microfilmed)
  • Bound volumes of any age with the exception of binders and ledgers created specifically to allow easy and safe removal of individual pages
  • Anything rolled
  • Any item larger than the glass surface of the photocopier (11” x 14”)

Photograph Collection

  • Any item for which there is a preservation reproduction (published, copied, or microfilmed)
  • Any photographs in cases: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes (even when not in case)
  • Any collection that has not been catalogued, that is provided to the patron by a staff member
  • Anything rolled
  • Any item mounted on board that is cupped or brittle
  • Any item larger than the glass surface of the photocopier (11” x 14”)
  • Bound volumes of any age
  • Negatives of any kind
  • Blueprints and cyanotypes

Photography Rules and Regulations

Purchase of photographs constitutes an agreement to comply with the following conditions:

The FRHS does not allow photography or filming of its collections in any form without prior written authorization. Ownership of photographs of items in the FRHS collections does not imply permission to reproduce or publish such material; permission must be obtained in writing. The FRHS reserves the right to restrict reproduction of copyrighted, culturally sensitive, or fragile materials. Material in the FRHS photography collection is not allowed to be photographed or photocopied by a researcher.

The FRHS does not own copyright on all material in its collections. The charging of fees is based on the FRHS’s physical ownership of the images and not on copyright. Researchers who obtain permission to reproduce images from the FRHS for any purpose are responsible for securing copyright from the holder of said copyright, if applicable. We will assist you to the best of our ability in determining the copyright owner, but assume no legal responsibility for doing so.

Images from the FRHS collections may not be reproduced without the written permission of the FRHS. Permission is granted for ONE TIME, NON-EXCLUSIVE USE ONLY and is granted for a specific purpose; all subsequent use requests must be made in writing. Any reproduction or subsequent use of the copies provided is prohibited without the express written permission of the FRHS and payment of additional fees.

The FRHS reserves the right to limit the number of photographic copies, to make special quotations on material involving unusual difficulty in copying, and to quote a higher fee than specified for requests involving excessive staff time. To ensure reproductions are in good taste, requests for image adjustment, such as cropping, adding animation, or over-printing (colorization), must be made in writing and details must be identified as such. Before publication, the FRHS reserves the right to require proof(s) for approval.

Unless otherwise specified, all reproduced photographs must be credited as follows: Collection of Fall River Historical Society, followed by the accession number.

A complimentary copy of any work using an image from the Fall River Historical Society must be provided.

The FRHS processing fee for reproducing images in its collections is broken into two parts: a reproduction fee and a usage fee. The reproduction fees pertain to the cost(s) of purchasing the image from the FRHS. The usage fee covers the charge for publishing the image in a book, periodical, website, or any other public media. If the image is being used for personal reasons, and will not be published, there is no usage fee associated with the order.

The FRHS requires pre-payment and a signed Photograph Use Agreement Form before processing any order.

Click here: FRHS Photo Use Agreement

Please contact us with any questions before placing an order.

On-Site Fees

  FRHS Members FRHS Non-Members
Research Fee FREE $8.00 per day
(black and white)
.25 per copy .35 per copy
$1.00 per copy $2.00 per copy
Extensive Photocopy Projects
(i.e. entire manuscripts)
Must be arranged in advance.
$20.00 per hour $30.00 per hour
Digital Camera Fee
Allows researchers to take unlimited reference images
(excluding photograph collection) with a handheld camera (no flash).
$5.00 per visit $10.00 per visit

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Contact Us

  • 451 Rock Street, Fall River, MA 02720
  • (508)-679-1071
  • cha@fallriverhistorical.org
  • Due to a major infrastructure project, the FRHS Museum will be closed beginning July 22, 2023. The Musem Shop is closed until further notice.