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Archives Reference and Use Policy
Archives Collections Policy

THSSH Archives Reference and Use Policy
Updated September 2016


The mission of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is to acquire, conserve and share local artifacts and information on matters of local historical interest; cultivate interest in local history; encourage the preservation of local historical resources; facilitate historical research; and preserve, operate, and interpret the Brick Academy.

Founded in 1928 as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, the mission and name of the society was changed in 1988 to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization including all five communities of the Somerset Hills:

  • Bedminster Township
  • Bernards Township
  • Bernardsville
  • Far Hills
  • Peapack-Gladstone

The mission of the THSSH Archives is to collect and preserve unique, paper-based local historical records, including photographs and images, operate the Research Center, and carry out educational and informational functions via the Research Center in order to:

  • Encourage interest in local history
  • Share local history content not generally available elsewhere
  • Increase awareness of THSSH and the Brick Academy
  • Enhance THSSH’s reputation as a reliable and respected history organization.

THSSH seeks to promote education and appreciation for the value of historical documents and materials through public use of its collections, including images, manuscripts, maps, ephemera, etc. Access to the archives is provided to all researchers on an equal basis.

Archives Users

THSSH receives numerous requests for research assistance.  Archives users are primarily researchers interested in local genealogy, historic buildings, homes and architecture, maps, photos, people and events in local history.  The Archivist maintains electronic records of all research requests and completed research.  

The THSSH Archives is located in the Research Center on the ground floor of the Brick Academy at 15 West Oak St. in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Access to the physical THSSH Archives is available by appointment only.  Appointments can be made on the THSSH website at http://www.historicalsocietyofsomersethills.org/emailrequest.php; by emailing THSSH at info@historicalsocietyofsomersethills.org; or by telephoning 908-221-1770.  Low-resolution images are provided on THSSH’s website for research and education use.  Higher resolution images are available on request.  THSSH volunteers may also provide remote users digital access to Archives materials subject to the guidelines in this policy.

Use Policy

Researchers and the THSSH staffer or volunteer working with the physical Archives must register electronically for the research appointment. Only the staffer or volunteer is permitted inside the Archives vault.  No Archives materials are to be removed from the Research Center.  The THSSH staffer or volunteer will return all research materials to the Archives vault and indicates in the electronic log whether the research was completed or if further appointments will be required.

Reproduction and use of items from our collections is subject to the following general guidelines and to the U.S. Copyright Law, which governs the use of copyrights material. Allowing the use of materials or supplying a “fair use” copy is not an authorization to publish. Permission to publish, display, or reproduce must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Permission must be obtained from THSSH to reproduce any materials from THSSH’s Archives, except for reproduction for research, personal or educational use.  Images from THSSH archives may not be published in any form including placement on CD-ROM, video disk, publicly accessible storage and retrieval systems, or the Internet without written permission for use. Scanning or digital photography fees may be charged depending on resolution, size, and delivery method.  Prints from scans or digital photo files can be provided at extra cost.

Fees for use normally apply to corporations, partnerships, private businesses, and individuals when images are to be used in books, periodicals, films, video productions, advertising, projection, or for direct sales. This includes the display of images in public areas of commercial buildings, restaurants, galleries, the internet, and retail spaces.  Use fees are not charged when images are obtained for purposes of private, personal viewing and research unless research results in publication. The Archivist shall determine rates and negotiate payments.
All publications must include the following credit: “From the collections of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.”

For further information about permission to use and fees, please contact info@thssh.org or info@historicalsocietyofsomersethills.org.


Copyright Policy

U.S. Copyright Law applies to all materials in THSSH’s archives. THSSH may decline to provide copies of photographs, if, in the judgment of THSSH, the proposed use would be a violation of copyright law, publicity rights and privacy rights. Allowing use of materials or supplying a copy is not an authorization to publish. Permission to publish, display, or reproduce must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Archives Collections Policy
Updated September 2016

This update of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) Collections Policy is based on guidelines of the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) and existing THSSH policies. 

THSSH Mission
The mission of THSSH is to acquire, conserve and share local artifacts and information on matters of local historical interest; cultivate interest in local history; encourage the preservation of local historical resources; facilitate historical research; and preserve, operate, and interpret the Brick Academy.
Founded in 1928 as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, the mission and name of the society was changed in 1988 to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization including all five communities of the Somerset Hills:

  • Bedminster Township
  • Bernards Township
  • Bernardsville
  • Far Hills
  • Peapack-Gladstone

Governing Authority
The Board of Trustees is THSSH’s governing authority.  The board meets monthly at THSSH headquarters located at the Brick Academy, 15 West Oak Street in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township.  Also known as the original Basking Ridge Classical School, the federal-style Brick Academy was built in 1809 as a boys’ private preparatory school.  It has also served as a public school, a meeting hall for several fraternal and benevolent organizations, the Bernards Township Police Department, and the Bernards Township municipal building.  The Brick Academy is recognized on both the State & National Registers of Historic Places.
THSSH Archives Mission

The mission of the THSSH Archives is to collect and preserve unique, paper-based local historical records, including photographs and images, operate the Research Center, and carry out educational and informational functions via the Research Center in order to:

  • Encourage interest in local history
  • Share local history content not generally available elsewhere
  • Increase awareness of THSSH and the Brick Academy
  • Enhance THSSH’s reputation as a reliable and respected history organization.

The THSSH Archives is located in the Research Center on the ground floor of the Brick Academy.

Archives Acquisition Policy

  • The THSSH Archives collects unique, unpublished, historical records pertaining to the history, genealogy and cultural resources of the five communities of the Somerset Hills listed above.  (Certain replicas or non-local materials may be acquired and retained as representative of local materials.)
  • THSSH Archives collects paper-based materials, including photographs, letters and other documents.  Rare books and other published material will be managed as part of the THSSH Library. All artifacts and other materials will be handled by the THSSH Museum Curator.
  • THSSH Archives will not accept materials it cannot adequately conserve. The archives will be maintained in accordance with current archival standards for methods and materials, to the extent feasible.
  • Acquisition of records will follow an appraisal process and depend on the appropriateness of the Brick Academy as a suitable place for their custody.  Due to space constraints, the Archivist reserves the right to refuse materials that duplicate content in other local collections or archives.
  • Each donation or group of donated materials must be documented at the time of delivery through an accession form.  The Archivist will acknowledge gifts with a standard gift/donation form and will oversee cataloging and conservation of all gifts and purchased acquisitions.  Large groups of materials may be identified in general terms on the accession form.     
  • Potential donors to the archives should first contact the Archivist by emailing THSSH at info@historicalsocietyofsomersethills.org; or by telephoning 908-221-1770 to provide some detail about the records. Before accepting records, THSSH must be satisfied that the donor has proper authority or title to transfer them.  The Board of Trustees and the donor or owner of the records shall fully acquaint each other in writing of any terms or conditions attaching to the transfer.
  • A computerized accessions register will be kept, in which essential information on the nature and circumstances of each acquisition will be recorded.  This will include the date and terms of transfer, the name and address of the donor, brief details of the records and any reference number necessary to allow the records themselves and any related documentation to be accessed and traced. 
  • THSSH does not seek to compete for material with other archives in the Somerset Hills. In acquiring records, every effort will be made to avoid conflict and duplication with the collection policies of such repositories, although there may be some overlap with more general repositories.  In all cases, we will work with other archives and donors to ensure material is placed in its most appropriate home.  

De-accession Policy:

Materials in THSSH collections are considered a permanent part of the collection as long as they retain their physical integrity and are relevant to the collection.  De-accession may be considered in the following situations:

  • Material does not relate to local history or local historical themes, have associations with local people or local events or duplicates materials in other local collections.
  • Material no longer retains sufficient historical integrity, or has deteriorated to a point that it cannot be conserved

De-accession procedure:

  • The Archivist will identify materials in accordance with above de-accession policy.
  • Archivist will confer and collaborate with the Curator, and other THSSH committees regarding potential alternate uses for items scheduled for de-accession. 
  • Archivist will provide notification to the Board of Trustees of any material proposed for de-accession prior to disposition. (Photocopied materials and commonly available books and periodicals may be de-accessioned at the discretion of the Archivist)
  • Archivist will undertake proper disposition in accordance with all laws and ethical standards as pertaining to non-profits incorporated under Title 15 of the Revised Statutes of the state of New Jersey and qualified under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code:
  • After consultation with a conservator, irreparably damaged or deteriorated materials may be destroyed.
  • A diligent effort will be made to transfer materials to another tax-exempt institution, with preference given to New Jersey entities.
  • If no suitable and willing tax-exempt institution can be identified, material will be appraised by an impartial outside consultant who has suitable expertise, after which the material will be sold on the open market. Net proceeds will be used to fund Archives acquisitions.
  • Prior to disposition, materials will be photographed and described, and disposition documented. This documentation will be permanently recorded.

 


 

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Street Address:
The Historical Society
of the Somerset Hills
15 West Oak Street,
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
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