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Archives Policy


➤ Call us at 304-232-0244 and ask for the Archives Department, or send us an email at [email protected]
➤ Download our Deed of Gift form (pdf)


Local History Collection Development Policy

Ohio County Public Library

The Ohio County Public Library (OCPL) recognizes an obligation to preserve and make available a Local History Collection (LHC). The purpose of this collection, which includes the materials in the Wheeling Room as well as those housed in Archives and Special Collections, is to preserve materials that document the history of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley region and to make these materials available to researchers and the general public.

LHC materials will primarily consist of books and other published items, the papers and manuscripts of regionally significant writers, and local genealogical resources. To the extent possible, these will be housed in the Wheeling Room where they will be most readily accessible by the public. Books and other items that are very rare, expensive, unique, or in delicate condition will be housed in a more secure setting with more limited access.

The library will also, as space and other considerations permit, collect and house non-published materials such as photographs, photograph albums, scrapbooks, personal and corporate archives, journals, letters, maps, prints, pamphlets, brochures, advertising ephemera and the like that are related to the history of Wheeling or the Upper Ohio Valley region. Generally, the LHC will not house three-dimensional objects.

Because of their unique nature and also because of the housing and organizing problems they present, these materials cannot be housed in the Wheeling Room or other locations where the public can have unsupervised access. Instead, they will be housed in OCPL’s Archives and Special Collections, a secure room located in the basement storage area. This area is off limits to the public and only authorized staff will have access to archival materials.

Access to Wheeling Room Materials

Materials in the Wheeling Room will be made available to the general public. The Wheeling Room will be kept locked at all times and patrons must request access at the reference desk. Notebooks, laptops, tablets and other recording materials are permitted, but all backpacks, bags, purses and other carrying cases must be locked in a secure room by the reference staff.

Access to Archival Materials

These materials will be represented in the library catalog. Originals will be available to examination by researchers by appointment only. Such appointments will be made at the convenience of OCPL and will be based upon when and where staff supervision is possible.

As much as possible, more detailed descriptions of archival materials will be made available in print or online, and selected materials may be digitized for online access.

Material Selection Criteria

OCPL reserves sole discretion in making all decisions about what materials will be accepted and housed in its Local History Collection. Selection criteria will include, but may not be limited to, how the material fits into the existing collection, what kind of information the record offers, relevance to non-duplication of materials, cost to preserve and store, and security requirements.

Material donations to the LHC will be accepted only when accompanied by a signed Deed of Gift form that legally transfers ownership of the materials to OCPL. Forms must be signed by the donor and an authorized staff member of OCPL. Both the donor and OCPL will receive signed copies.

Donors are responsible for arranging and paying for any appraisals of donations if an appraisal is required for the purposes of tax deductions. Library staff cannot provide donors with an appraisal of donated materials.

Deaccessioning Materials

OCPL reserves the right to periodically reevaluate materials in the Local History Collection and to carefully and judiciously deaccession certain items from its collection in a manner consistent with professionally accepted standards. Deaccessioning is a serious undertaking, and all such actions will be cautious, deliberate, and scrupulous. 

OCPL may decide to deaccession an item if any of the following conditions are present:

  • The item is not relevant to OCPL’s mission and purpose.
  • The item would be more appropriately housed in a different archival repository.
  • The item has deteriorated beyond its usefulness.
  • The item is void of inherent exhibition, research, or educational value.
  • The item is a duplicate of objects or records already in collections.
  • The item is made of hazardous materials or is actively decomposing in a manner that directly affects the condition of other items and/or the health and safety of the staff and/or visitors.
  • OCPL is unable to continue to provide care and storage for the object in keeping with professionally accepted standards.
  • The item is subject to legal and ethical standards requiring its removal.

Deaccessioned collections and items weeded from collections during processing will first be offered to the original donor or his/her agent if so requested at the time of donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or cannot be located, OCPL reserves the right to transfer the material to another more appropriate archival repository or scholarly institution. Where appropriate, preference will be given to local institutions.

Material to be deaccessioned must be identified by OCPL Archives Staff and approved by the Library Director. Complete records will be maintained on all deaccessioned items and their subsequent disposition.

Cooperative Agreements

Occasionally, OCPL enters into cooperative arrangements with other organizations in order to preserve historical materials and/or make them more widely available.

Publication of Materials

Use of images issued by OCPL requires written permission from a duly authorized representative of OCPL. OCPL Images may not be sold or redistributed, copied or distributed as a photograph, electronic file, or any other media and should not be significantly altered through conventional or electronic means. The user is responsible for all issues of copyright.

If publication is permitted, a credit line should read, "Courtesy of the Ohio County Public Library Archives, Wheeling, WV."

Copyrighted material will be copied in accordance with copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and the CONTU Guidelines. Written permission from copyright owner or payment of a royalty fee may be required. The copyright law 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 other 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 a purpose in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. All responsibility for use of the reproductions is assumed by the applicant. 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.

Unless otherwise specified herein, it is the recipient's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions (such as donor restrictions, privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks) when using, publishing, or otherwise distributing materials received from OCPL. Materials provided may not be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Ohio County Public Library. If publication is allowed, a credit line should read, "Courtesy of the Local History Collection of the Ohio County Public Library, Wheeling, WV."

Adoption of the Collection Development Policy

OCPL Local History Collection Development Policy and collecting priorities have been adopted by the Ohio County Public Library’s Board of Trustees on December 10, 2014.


► Call us at 304-232-0244 and ask for the Archives Department, or send us an email at [email protected]
► Download our Deed of Gift form (pdf)

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