Visiting the Archives

Individuals may have access to WGBH Media Library and Archives’ processed collections at WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston. Access to the archival collections at WGBH is based upon the established policies of the MLA. Archival materials are restricted to on-site use only and users, without exception, are not permitted to borrow archival materials or take materials off-site.

The Archives is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm EST. Please review the following information related to access before contacting MLA. Contact information is provided at the bottom of this page.

Individuals interested in archival materials at WGBH must contact MLA with a specific research request before visiting and, in some cases, consent to an interview appointment to determine which materials the researcher will need to access. Individuals are asked to plan their visit in advance so that some reference services can be conducted prior to arrival, such as retrieving boxes and tapes. External researchers must contact MLA a minimum of two weeks in advance of their intended visit. Please contact WGBH MLA at and state the nature of your research interest and your academic or professional affiliation.


Individuals are generally not permitted access to unprocessed parts of archival collections. User requests for restricted materials will be discussed with WGBH’s Legal Department to determine if the request can be honored.

Researchers must abide by WGBH MLA’s rules governing the physical handling of archival materials such as:

  • using only pencil in the research area
  • not using any screening or recording devices
  • leaving coats, bags, and briefcases outside of the room where they will be researching
  • agreeing to let MLA staff do all photocopying of archival papers
  • permitting an inspection of notes to ensure documents are not leaving the Archives.

Permitted photocopying of materials for scholarly use will be granted in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act.

Users cannot quote or publish materials from WGBH archival collections without first obtaining the written permission of WGBH Educational Foundation. Users must submit a copy of all portions of their intended final work with their request for permission.

Researchers must agree to credit WGBH Media Library and Archives in any work which references, incorporates, or quotes MLA’s materials and must provide MLA with one copy of the finished work free of charge (such as a book, paper, thesis, article, or film).

Permission to quote or publish archival materials is granted on a case-by-case basis and will require a written license agreement.

User visits to MLA will be scheduled according to the time sensitivity of a researcher’s project.


Researchers should keep in mind the following fees associated with using archival materials at WGBH.

  1. Duplication: If any requested material requires reformatting, the researcher shall be responsible for transfer costs and the newly formatted version will remain at the MLA. The MLA will not provide a personal copy of the work for the researcher. Please be aware that due to legal restrictions and copyright issues, the MLA is unable to provide researchers or the general public with personal copies of materials.
  2. Photocopying: MLA charges $0.25 per photocopy for a standard 8.5″ x 11″ page. If a researcher requires larger copies, or needs between 30 and 50 pages, a special fee may be arranged on-site at the Archives’ discretion.