Access and Restrictions

  • Certain categories of access may be defined as:
    • Restricted - closed to public access in general; or open only to designated individuals or under certain conditions.
    • Classified - documents marked confidential, secret, for your eyes only or high security documents.
    • Privileged Access - open to certain types of users who are privileged to use the materials, i.e. donor's family members, relatives and friends, etc.
  • The donor and recipient should agree on policy statement on access to avoid misunderstanding and confusion.
  • Although the Archives fully adheres to the policy of open equal access, it accepts full responsibility to balance the researcher's need for information against the institution's desire and the donor's right to protect the materials from abuse and misuse.
  • There are five common categories or basis for restriction:
    • Privacy
    • Business information/trade secrets
    • Personnel data
    • Investigative information
    • Statutory restriction
  • Other general restrictions are those imposed by law, those imposed by the Archives or the Library, those drawn up by mutual agreement between donor and donee in an instrument by mutual agreement between donor and donee.

General Access and Restriction Policies

  • The University Archives is committed to making records in its custody available on equal terms of access, in accordance with standard professional policy and archival practice. Equal access, however, does not mean that all records are open to research use.
  • The University Archivist holds the responsibility of balancing the researcher's need for access, in conformity with applicable laws regarding freedom of information, with the needs for confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are documented in the material.
  • Restrictions imposed in designated classes of materials, or for a specific period of time, shall be made available only to the office of origin or upon approval by that office.
  • Open records shall be made available to researchers who obey the rules and regulations governing the use of archival materials.
  • The following is a list of general restrictions applied to certain types of archival materials:
  • Materials restricted by statute, regulation, executive order, or court order. Information contained in such material may be disclosed only in accordance with provisions of such statute, regulation, executive order or court order.
  • Materials containing information, the disclosure of which would constitute clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or a libel of a living person. Such records may be disclosed only to archives regular staff, in the performance of normal archival work, and to the officers and employees of the office of origin or its successor who have a need for the record in the performance of their official duties.
  • For donated records, such restricted information may be disclosed only to the donor, his/her assignee or authorized representative, pursuant to the provisions of the Donor's Deed of Donation or Agreement.
  • In addition, time restrictions on the use of these records will be imposed as follows:
    • Personal student records will be restricted for fifty years after graduation from College, or from the last year of severance of relations with the University.
    • Records of the members of the Board of Trustees, the administrative officers and staff, and the faculty, will be restricted for twenty-five years from the time of separation from the University.
    • Even after the passage of time, if there is any reason to justify the withholding of the disclosure of information, a reasonable inquiry into possible sources of objection must be made prior to the release of the material.
  • Materials containing business and financial information, obtained with an expressed or implied understanding of confidentiality. Such information may be disclosed only if the party who sought assurances of confidentiality agrees to its release, and/or, if in the judgment of the Archivist, the passage of time would justify the release of the information.
  • Materials containing confidential employment or personnel information, such as appointment papers, performance evaluation results, disciplinary actions, etc. Such information may be disclosed only if the information does not identify the particular individuals or if the particular individual or his legal representative agrees to its release, or if the individual is deceased and the passage of time as mentioned above justifies its release.