Access Policy for Archival Records of the Marine Biological Laboratory

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No.H.1.9

Initiated by: Director, MBLWHOI Library
Approved by: MBL, Director/CEO
Date: April 7, 2000
Revision:  #1, March 2011
Distribution: MBL Community

1.0 Policy Statement:
The Marine Biological Laboratory Archives make research materials available to members of the MBL and other researchers on equal terms of access.  Equal access does not mean that all materials are open to research use.  It is the responsiblity of the Archives to balance a researcher’s needs for access with the confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are reflected in the materials.

This policy applies to materials that are determined by the Laboratory Archivist to be of long-term value and are to be retained indefinitely.  Acess to institutional materials of transient value is governed by the Laboratory’s Record Management Policy (Policy No. H.1.10)

2.0  Access Classifications
Archival materials are classified into one of three access categories:

2.1 Closed:  only available to the person or office of origin and the MBL Archivist
2.2 Restricted:  not open to the public but may be made available, with permission, to persons conduction research (see 4.0)
2.3 Open:  available to the public

3.0  Institutional archival records will normally remain closed for a maximum period of  twenty years from the date of their creation (the date on which each document was written) unless the office of origin has designated a shroter period.  The open date for files spanning several years will be 20 years form the most recent date.  Access will be given to material already 20 years old contained within a collection that is not yet open when such material can be isolated from the rest of the collection.

Instituional archival records will be classified as open after the closure period, except for the following records which will remain restricted after the closure period.

3.1  Corporation, Trustee and Executive Committee minutes – restricted for 50 yerars
3.2  Student Records – restricted for 75 years.
3.3  Human Resources/Personnel records – restricted for 75 years.
Access by name to individual student and personnel records (e.g. for biographical studies) will     be denied for 75 years from the date the record was created. Access for aggregate studies         (anonymous studies of groups) will be considered in accordance with this policy and the rules     and regulations of the Laboratory Archives.
3.4  Other records may be closed for more than 20 years or restricted after the closure period     with the permission of the Laboratory’s Library Director.

4.0 Access Requests
Consideration will be given for access by others when a written request is presented to the Laboratory’s Library Director and a written approval has been obtained from the appropriate officer in the office of origin or the appropriate Laboratory officer now responsible for the function performed by the office of origin.

5.0 This policy will not impinge upon the normal administrative uses of Laboratory records.

6.0 Policy Updates
Policy clarification and procedural updates are available from the MBLWHOI Library.