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Position Statement

Special Collections and Archives actively seeks to promote access and use of its collections. As a result, the repository discourages donation of records that include access or use restrictions. 

Restriction Types

Some collections and selected materials within collections have access limitations. In some instances, restricted records have a temporal term limit (e.g. restricted for general use for 15 years, from the date of donation). In other instances, collections require prior permission from the donor for researcher access. A common example of this type of restriction is the archives of lineage societies.

Both temporal restrictions and user permission restrictions are set by the donor at the time of collection donation and stipulated in the deed of gift. After donation, restricted records are identified within collection guides and archival boxes with restrictions are clearly marked. 

Anonymous Interviews

The repository also contains selected oral history interviews in which the informant elected to remain anonymous. Although this practice is generally discouraged within oral history, such recordings do exist. In these cases, informants’ names have been removed from transcripts and recordings. 

Condition Restraints

Preservation restrictions may apply to archival material that is damaged or deteriorated beyond the point of safe handling by researchers. In such cases, collection guides will note the preservation restriction. Digital scans may be available for such materials upon request. 

Unprocessed Collections

Researcher access extends to unprocessed collections and minimally processed collections. The repository does not currently impose any access restrictions based on level of collection processing. 

University Records

For information about restrictions for University records, please refer to the  University Archives Collection Development Policy .