Frequently Asked Questions

The Forest History Society Library and Archives are open to the public between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. We are located at 2925 Academy Rd. in Durham, North Carolina.

  • I need help answering a history question but I can't travel to Durham. Who do I contact?
    Please email all research questions to the library staff by using this link.
  • What can I bring with me to the library?
    Laptop computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and small scanning devices are permitted. Please take notes in pencil only.
  • Do I need to make an appointment to use the library or archives?
    Appointments for researchers are strongly recommended. Due to our small staff and the large volume of collections it is best to have advance notice of your visit. Send an email to our library staff or call our main number at 919-682-9319 to schedule an appointment or discuss your research topic.
  • Can I photograph or scan library and archival materials myself?
    Yes, but all such materials must be examined and approved by FHS staff prior to photography or scanning. No flash photography is allowed. Please see our full digital camera use policy for more information.
  • Can I make photocopies of library and archival materials myself?
    A photocopier is available for use by visiting researchers. Materials must be examined and approved by FHS staff prior to photocopying. Associated fees may apply.
  • Can I borrow books from the library?
    Books and other materials in the library are for in-house use only. Our books do not circulate via interlibrary loan.
  • How can I find out what is in the collections prior to visiting?
    Inventories of the majority of our archival collection can be accessed using the finding aids in our Guide to FHS Archival Collections. Portions of the printed materials in the library are searchable in our online databases. Note that information about many of our collections is only accessible through indexes and card catalogs located in the library. Please contact library staff for more information on a specific collection or research topic.
  • Can I view the photo collection online?
    A portion of our historic photograph collection has been scanned and can be accessed using our online image database. This database provides access to over 20,000 photos. In addition, a full index of photo subject terms is available.
  • How can I request a scan or digital copy of a historic photograph?
    High-resolution scans are available at a cost of $12 per image. Users may fill out and submit the photo request form online, or contact FHS staff.
  • Can I request PDF scans of non-photo library or archival materials?
    Yes, contact library staff with specific requests. Due to the rarity and fragile nature of some materials, scanning requests are subject to approval by library staff. Associated fees may apply.
  • How do I get permission to use or publish photographs from the archives?
    Permission from FHS staff is required for any use of images from our collections. Contact FHS library staff with any specific use requests, or for publishing permission fill out our photo use application.
  • How can I access articles published in Forest History Today or Environmental History?
    Back issues of Forest History Today can be accessed online. To receive a subscription, please make a qualifying gift. Online access to Environmental History is available through Oxford Journals.
  • Would you be able to offer an appraisal of my historic book, document, photograph, etc.?
    No, we do not provide formal appraisals or assign monetary values to books or archival materials.
  • Do you accept donations of books, documents, photographs, etc.?
    Yes, we accept materials relating to forest and conservation history, and are happy to assist individuals and groups interested in depositing their historical records in a suitable repository. If we are unable to take on any materials we can assist in locating an appropriate repository. Our interest is always in the preservation of materials and ensuring access for historians and other researchers. Contact library staff with specific questions or for more information on donor guidelines.
  • I’m pretty sure I created Woodsy Owl in an elementary school poster contest. Can you confirm this?
    No, sorry, you didn’t.