Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 1: Good Reference and Access Practices
  Lesson 1: Good Reference and Access Practices


Assisting people in their research and helping them answer their questions is yet another vital role for the archivist. Since the materials that are being used are unique, one-of-a kind historical records, it is vital that your program create sound policies that govern how they can be used.

The key document in this effort is a reference policy. Take a few minutes to look over our sample reference policy now.

As you can see from the sample, your reference policy outlines the rules for using and accessing the historical records collections in your care. A reference policy includes items such as:

  • Background information about your program, including hours of operation
  • Information about registration requirements
  • Regulations for using the archives
  • Information regarding copying

Lesson Length icon
This lesson will take about 30 minutes to complete. Writing or reviewing your reference policy should take longer!

 Example icon

Other reference policies:
Presbyterian Church in America Historical Center.  Click here.
Cuyahoga County Archives. Click here.