Use of archival materials

  • Food and drink, including water, are not permitted in our research rooms. We ask that you place all overclothes, bags, and containers larger than a wallet in a locker in the elevator lobby (staff will show you how).
  • Please use materials in designated research areas, only.
  • Please use only pencil. Research Room staff will be happy to provide a pencil if you need one.
  • Please take only one box at a time to your desk and use only one folder at a time from the box. We ask that you use a cardboard marker (provided by our staff) as a placeholder for each folder you remove from the box. Please do not view folders at your cart.
  • Please lay the folder and papers flat on your desk while reading the documents. We ask that you not bend, fold, mark, or remove fasteners from the documents – or change the documents’ existing order within the folder. Please notify Research Room staff if you find discrepancies in filing order, damaged or missing items, or other problems with the material.
  • Once you are ready to return the folder to the box, please gather the documents gently and neatly within the folder. Take care that documents do not project beyond the side or the top of the folder. Please re-file each folder before removing another one.
  • Please return the box to the research cart when you are done with it.
  • Certain documents containing national security or confidential information may have been withdrawn from the collection(s) and replaced with a withdrawal sheet. Researchers may submit formal requests to have these documents reviewed for possible opening. Please see the Reference Archivist on duty for guidance with this process.
  • Researchers are strongly advised to read the Copyright Notice posted at each research desk and on the Main Research Room bulletin board. Under current law, copyright holders may still control the publication of unpublished remarks and writings even after the materials are made available for research. It is the responsibility of researchers to adhere to "fair use" when quoting from or publishing copyrighted materials. Any use beyond fair use requires written permissions from copyright holders or their designees.

Photocopying information

  • The Kennedy Library has two (2) self-service copiers for researcher use in the Main Research Room (fourth floor). The copying charge is $0.25 per page. We ask that you pay all fees at the end of the day by cash, check, or credit card. The code number issued to you will tally the number of copies made; you are responsible for all of the copies registered to that code. A different number card is issued each day, so it is important that you return your card and pay your fees daily.
  • Please copy from only one box and one folder at a time. We ask that you bring the entire folder with you to the copier and lay the folder on the work table next to the machine. Please take one document at a time from the folder to the machine, and remove any reminder tabs as you work. Take extra care not to disarrange the order of the records.
  • Since there are only two self-service copier machines available, we ask that you be considerate of your fellow researchers who may also need use of a photocopy machine.
  • Researchers may use their own digital cameras without a flash and certain flatbed scanners in place of the Research Room’s photocopy machines. Please consult with Reference staff before using digital equipment.

Researchers using the Ernest Hemingway Collection

  • Materials from the Hemingway Collection are serviced in our Main Research Room. 
  • Due to copyright restrictions, researchers may not photocopy or photograph any manuscript materials from the Ernest Hemingway Collection.


Wi-Fi is available in our research rooms:

  • Open your computer’s network connections.
  • Network name is: Kennedy Presidential Library (no password or login required).

Please see the Reference staff if you have any questions.

NOTICE: Warning concerning copyright restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excesses of "fair use," that use may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Policy updated Aug. 18, 2016.

For more information please contact or 617.514.1629.

Ask an Archivist

JFKWHP-AR6296-E (crop): President Kennedy Speaks at Press Conference, 25 January 1961

Do you have a research question? Ask an Archivist.

JFK Library Flickr Photos

JFKWHP-KN-18481 (crop): White House Staff Members Accept Gifts from Colombian Group, 3 August 1961

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Remote Research is Here

JFKWHP-ST-C94-4-61 (crop): White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA) Advance Trip to Paris, 8 March 1961

Can't come to the Kennedy Library? Explore our digital collections.

Archivally Speaking...

JFKWHP-ST-A11-1A-63 (crop): First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at Opening of Mona Lisa Exhibit, 8 January 1963

See our blog for news on recently opened & digitized collections.