Historical Collection Material and Use Policy


The Library has a responsibility to collect, preserve, and make available to the public materials
documenting the history of the Conant Library, the Town of Sterling, and its environs. The Library works
in cooperation with, but is not directly affiliated with, the Sterling Historical Society.


The focus of the local history collection will be materials about the history of Sterling, and, to a lesser
extent, its environs. Selected materials more generally about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will
be included provided that they help set Sterling within a historical context. Genealogies and family
histories will be collected only for families with a substantial connection to Sterling. Emphasis is also
given to the acquisition of those materials which contribute to a knowledge of the region’s social, civic,
religious, economic and cultural life, past and present.

Collections and Acquisitions

The Library welcomes donations to the historical collection. The Library reserves the right to turn down
any donation that is not relevant or does not fit the scope of the collection; is a duplicate of material
already in the collection; is too large to house; or is in a condition that would be an undue conservation
burden. Donors may not impose any restrictions on any donated materials, and materials or other gifts
will be accepted only if given unconditionally. Once an item has been accepted by the Library, it
becomes a part of the Library’s collection and the Library shall be its sole owner. The Library will not
appraise any materials; should a donor want an appraisal for tax purposes, they will be responsible for
this. It is recommended that, if desired, appraisals be accomplished before the item is conveyed to the
Library. If a potential donation is deemed unfit for the collection, the Library will attempt to refer the
donor to other organizations which may have an interest in or need for the item.


The Library may remove items from the collection due to poor condition, duplication, or irrelevance to
the scope of the collection. All decisions to deaccession materials from the collection will be made by
the Library Director. The Library Director is empowered to deaccession items of modest value; the final
decision on deaccessioning items of high value or extreme rarity will be made by the Library Board of
Trustees on the recommendation of the Library Director. Items deaccessioned from the collection may
be sold, returned to the donor if feasible, given to another organization, or discarded. The Sterling
Historical Society shall have the right of first refusal for any items deaccessioned from the historical

Use of the Historical Collection

Materials may be used by members of the public; however, in order to maintain the safety and integrity
of the collection, materials may only be accessed under the supervision of a library staff member. All
Historical Collection materials must be used within the library at a designated table on the main level.
Special care should be taken when handling Historical Collection materials, particularly those that are
The collection is available to the public during regular library hours.
Patrons may use two items at a time; a driver’s license or other government issued identification will be
held as collateral until items are returned.
No food or drink are permitted when using materials from the Historical Collection.
Only pencils are permitted for taking notes when using the collection.
Photocopies will not be permitted. Researchers may digitally photograph the desired information.