A User's Guide To Basic Procedures When Visiting The Archives

The Nanaimo Community Archives provides safe and secure storage for the historical records of Nanaimo and a welcoming environment for researchers.

To make your visit productive, please observe the following procedures. We reserve the right to deny access to anyone who fails to comply with these regulations or who acts in a disruptive manner.


Write your full name and address (including email) on the Researcher Registration form provided by Staff. Remember to sign the form. By doing so, you agree to observe user regulations.

Leave coats, umbrellas, bags and backpacks near the reception desk.

Respect the need of other researchers to concentrate. Please work quietly.

Spend adequate time with Staff to discuss your research needs. Consulting them will help make your visit more productive.

Ask Staff for instruction on accessing our databases. 

Remember that Staff does not do the research for you. Our job is to provide guidance and to refer you to appropriate materials. It is up to you to interpret materials.

Researchers may retrive published material in the reference area. Do not reshelve these materials. Only Staff may retrieve archival material.

Staff keeps a record of the materials you consulted on each visit. On subsequent visits, be sure to alert us to any previous visit(s). This will ensure that staff efforts are not duplicated.

Most of our documents are available on demand. Some, however, may require notice if they are stored off-site, and others may not be available at all if they are in fragile condition, closed by statute, or at the request of the donor. In case of doubt, staff will provide guidance.

Always handle records with care and do not mark them in any way. Wear cotton gloves, provided by us, when handling photographs. Do not lean or press on documents. If you accidentally damage a document or find one to be damaged, tell Staff immediately.

Ink is used for the Researcher Registration form only. All other writing must be done in pencil.

Photocopying rates are posted in the Reading Room. Copies will be made within the limitations of the Copyright Act and the fragility of the materials.

Keep detailed notes of the sources you consulted. Archival sources should be acknowledged in any publications (including internet postings).

Keep documents in the same order they were given to you.

No materials may be removed from the Archives.