|Course:||5: Access and Outreach|
This is the final of five courses designed to introduce you to the basic components of managing historical records collections. In this course we discussed how to get the word out about your collections and how to provide good reference service to your users.
Remember that caretakers of historical records work hard to preserve their unique collections, but that preservation work has to be balanced with work to make those records available. Balancing preservation and access concerns can be done effectively using good reference policies and procedures that keep your collections safe while they are being used.
Historical records are important elements of the heritage of our communities. They are held throughout the nation, in large professionally managed archives and in small local collections. They are held by governments, libraries, museums, historical societies, private companies, and many other types of organizations. No matter how large or small your own historical records program is, providing the basic elements of archival management of your collections is vital in order to preserve and provide access to our cultural heritage.
We encourage you to take advantage of further educational opportunities regarding archival work that are available to you. There are also many resources available online that can help you learn more; we have noted many of them throughout these five courses. And, finally, we encourage you to implement as much as possible of the information that has been provided in these courses in your own historical records program.