The Society of American Archivists (SAA) recently released, Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research by Laura Schmidt. The guide focuses on how researchers utilize archives and outlines the best way to approach archival research.
In addition to provide useful information for researchers the guide includes a number of guidelines and policies that most archival institutions have to develop at one time or another. For example, the chapter on Typical Usage Guidelines in Archival Repositories outlines a list of common reading room rules and restrictions. This chapter is a great place to start if your institution is looking to develop a policy on what patrons are allows to bring into a reading room.
The Guide’s chapter outline is as follows:
- What Are Archives and How Do They Differ from Libraries?
- Types of Archives
- Finding and Evaluating Archives
- Requesting Materials Remotely
- Planning to Visit an Archives
- Typical Usage Guidelines in Archival Repositories
- Notes on Copyright, Restrictions, and Unprocessed Collections
- Visiting an Archives
- A Final Word/Additional Resources
- Appendix: Sample Annotated Finding Aid