Because of the quantity, breadth, quality, uniqueness and importance of the literature and art related to the Niagara River, the Falls, and also to the City of Niagara Falls (composed as the latter is of settlements prominent in the history of the Province since the formative years), a collection of local history materials is an important service of the Library.
This collection policy reflects the high value placed on informational and research uses of the local history materials. It also is evidence of the Library's acceptance of its responsibility in the area of archival preservation and conservation of local history materials.
It is the general policy of the Local History Collection to acquire, as far as is possible and practical, and as funds allow, at least one copy for reference use of all material contributing to a knowledge of local history comprising the area of the current City of Niagara Falls, the River and Falls, and the Niagara Peninsula. Material not relating solely to the Niagara area may be added to the Local History Collection. Examples are local histories from other areas, and Great Lakes and New York State materials. Materials are acquired usually through purchases from publishers and rare book dealers, subscriptions, government deposit and donations.
This general policy is considerably broader in scope than strictly historical. Emphasis is also given to the acquisition of those materials which will contribute to a knowledge of the social, civic, religious, economic and cultural life, past and present.
Materials (either originals or reproductions) included are books, diaries, pamphlets, newsletters, bulletins, periodicals, reports, letters, speeches, newspapers, manuscripts, documents, maps, atlases, clippings, music, microforms, postcards, photographs, photographic negatives, slides, films, videotapes, sound recordings, electronic materials, paintings, art reproductions and prints, posters, stereo views, genealogical records, minutes, memorabilia and ephemera such as commemorative programs and advertisements.
Duplicates of materials likely to be useful for circulation are also acquired as funds and availability allow.
Collecting the writings of local authors on non-Niagara area subjects is at the discretion of the Manager of Reference and Information Services.
Rarely is a large price paid for a work that would be interesting to have but which would have little reference value, such as an early imprint of which a reprint is available.
Museum objects are generally not collected, except in limited number for display or interpretation purposes. Inexpensive display objects to promote and interpret the collection may be acquired.
The Library solicits donations of local history materials from the community and from other sources and welcomes gifts. A provenance record of all donations is kept on file. Gifts become the property of the Library and are organized within the collection at the Library's discretion. The Library reserves the right to decide whether a proposed gift is to be added to its collection.
The Library reserves the right to decide on how gift funds donated for the purchase of local history materials are to be spent. Wishes of a donor, if expressed, are taken into consideration.
Archival collections of minutes, etc. from local associations, institutions, etc. to be stored in the Library and used only by members of the association, are not accepted into the collection. Family bibles are not collected unless the Library agrees that the family relates to the early settlement of the community.
When a donor wishes to place material on indefinite loan in the collection, the Head of Reference and Information Services is responsible for deciding whether to accept the loan and, if so, for making the appropriate arrangements.
The Head of Reference and Information Services who reports to the Chief Librarian is responsible for administering this collection policy and may have the assistance of local history librarians and other staff.
Approved 1990: Reviewed October 20, 2004, Date of last review March 21 2007