Research Policy

Bossier Parish Library Historical Center
Research Request Policy
Approved by the Library Board of Control - 27 Sep 2012

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center collects and preserves material related to the history of Bossier Parish. Our collection includes newspapers, photographs, historic objects, yearbooks, and oral history interviews, all with ties to Bossier Parish. Staff members are constantly working to maintain high standards of preservation for all items in the collection. We create exhibits on local history at both the Historical Center and parish libraries, offer educational programming, and catalog donated items.

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center is a great place to start or continue research into your family history. Staff members are happy to guide patrons in their research by providing 30 minutes of assistance with the resources of the BPLHC. The Historical Center does not do genealogy or conduct in-depth research for patrons, but can provide a list of professional researchers. All arrangements between the patron and the professional researcher are the patron’s responsibilities.

BPLHC staff will look up articles from local newspapers when provided with an appropriate citation [title, date, page, column]. For obituary searches, a complete date of death must be provided. If you found information on our online PastPerfect database or through our online collections at, please let us know. This will make finding the information easier and faster.

When research includes requests for photographs, the BPLHC Image Request Agreement must be completed and signed by the researcher. No photos will be copied until the signed form is returned.

Research is limited to Historical Center collections only. Staff may provide contact information for government agencies or other libraries.

Fees apply for all copies. Copy costs are 15 cents per page for black and white copies and 25 cents per page for color. All fees must be paid at the information desk. Checks may be made to the Bossier Parish Library.

Copies will be made on 8 ½ x 11” copy paper. We are unable to enlarge or make custom copies. Staff will provide researchers with the best copy possible, based on the quality of the original material.

Bossier Parish Library Historical Center staff reserves the right to refuse a copying request if there are donor-imposed restrictions on reproduction (including copyright), if staff believes that copying will risk damage to the item, or if the original is owned by another institution.

Patrons do not need to be registered Bossier Parish Library cardholders to use Historical Center facilities or research materials and services. A current Bossier Parish Library card may be required in order for the patron to use select library resources, including the Library’s public-use computers.

Procedures and rules for public access are designed to support appropriate use of historical materials while ensuring the highest standards for care and preservation of the collection. Certain items may not be available at all times if they require special handling, have donor restrictions, are on exhibit, or are stored off-site.

On-Site Policy
All materials in the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center are non-circulating.

Use of materials in our research area does not require an appointment; however, calling ahead allows our staff to gather specific materials.

Patrons in the research area may work only in pencil and must have clean hands. Gloves may be required for handling unprotected materials. No food or drink is allowed in the Historical Center.

Staff members will bring one archival document box from the archives at a time. One folder from each box will be removed at a time. Only staff members will put items away in boxes.

All research requests must be made 30 minutes prior to closing. Staff will not retrieve any items from the archives after this time. Any requests made later will be completed on the next working day. This allows staff adequate time to repack archival materials and return items to their appropriate location in the archives room.

Off-Site Policy
Requests are answered in order of receipt and completed as quickly as possible within BPLHC limitations on equipment and staff time. Requests by mail, e-mail, and phone will receive the same 30 minutes of staff research time as walk-in requests.

The researcher will pay for all mailing costs. Copies will be mailed via USPS at the First-Class postage rate.

When submitting research requests, please be specific. Give as much meaningful data as is available about the persons involved. Include approximate dates, locations, names of spouses and children. State which sources have already been checked; we do not want to send duplicate information. Researchers will be charged for all copies made based on a request.
Requests by letter: All requests for local history and genealogical information should be directed to:
Bossier Parish Library Historical Center
2206 Beckett Street
Bossier City, LA 71111
Requests by e-mail: All requests must include a name and physical address. Scanned copies of newspaper articles are free of charge and will be e-mailed as JPEG files; however, our e-mail system only allows a maximum of 10 scanned articles.
Published price guides for art works, antiques, rare books, coins, stamps, currency, and other collectibles are available for patrons in the Bossier Parish Library. Staff will not provide appraisals of such works. Staff may offer listings of local appraisers, but personal recommendations will not be made.

Storage Materials
The Historical Center does not provide storage or conservation materials to patrons. A list of archival product suppliers may be provided.

Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) 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 reproductions 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 purposes in excess of “fair use”, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

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; however, complying with copyright laws is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher.