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Research Policies & Procedures


Welcome to the CUYAHOGA COUNTY ARCHIVES. The staff asks that you review these policies and procedures before beginning your research.

First make certain that you have signed the VISITORS' REGISTER; and then have a seat in one of our reading rooms, located on either side of the main hallway. The staff member responsible for the reference area will then meet with you to ascertain your research needs and direct you to the appropriate sources. If others have arrived before you the staff asks you to be patient, and you will be served as quickly as possible. Do understand that because of the small size of the staff only ONE INDIVIDUAL can be assigned to work in the reference area at any time; and all of your questions and requests should be presented to the reference archivist on duty.

Many of the records in our holdings are available on MICROFILM, and you can access the film on a self-serve basis. Copies can be made on one of the available reader printers. IIf the records you require are not on film, it will be necessary to ask the reference archivist to retrieve the documents for you. Your request should be in writing; and slips of paper are available for that purpose. Please use a PENCIL at all times. If you require multiple documents please place your request in some sort of order, e.g. numerically by volume and page numbers, permanent parcel order, case file numbers, etc.

Staff members will bring all research materials to the reference rooms. There is a retrieval maximum of TEN volumes, or documents, per individual request.

Archives staff make all desired photocopies. Photocopies are NOT MADE when the original record may be damaged or harmed in the process. If you request less than 40 copies there is no charge. If you request more than 40 copies you will be charged 3 cents ($ .03) per page.

The reference area closes promptly at 3:00 P.M. No new records may be requested by a patron after 2:45 P.M.

When requesting copies of documents by mail your letter of inquiry should include several details. First specify (see RECORDS OF INTEREST IN THE ARCHIVES) the type of record, e.g. birth, death, naturalization, and then the surnames to be searched, followed by the relevant dates, and any other pertinent information. Please do not enclose any payment (SEE BELOW [*]). The staff is small in size and its ability to answer a large number of requests in a timely manner is limited as a result. If you can provide volume and page numbers, petition numbers, etc., the staff should be able to respond to your request within three weeks. But if you are not able to provide specifics you can expect a minimum delay of six months. To help expedite your request see RESEARCH AIDS/TIPS. If the staff is unsuccessful in locating the desired documents a letter will be sent detailing the records researched, and whenever possible it will identify other sources for additional investigation.

You may also request information through an EMAIL query by contacting the Archives in care of archive@cuyahogacounty.us. You may wish to complete the Research Request Form accessible on our home page You can also FAX (216-443-3636) your inquiry to the Archives.

The same guidelines, as noted above, should be followed when making a request by e-mail or fax. Please remember to provide your U.S. mailing address with your e-mail or fax communication so that the staff can forward document copies to you.

*The Archives does not require a research fee and if you request less than 40 copies there is no charge. If you request more than 40 copies they are charged at the rate of three cents ($.03) per page. If the materials cannot be sent for the standard postal rate an additional amount will be assessed.