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Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts (AFS III, Vol. 4) (PDF)

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  • Written by Cheryl Oestreicher

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  • Archival Fundamentals Series III, Volume 4

    “This is one of the greatest pleasures of being an archivist—the opportunity to develop, share, and advance how people can access archives.”


    Access and reference services are central to engaging with historical resources. As more people encounter archives for scholarly and avocational research, as part of creative pursuits, or to exercise their rights as citizens to access records, the possibilities for how collections are used will continue to evolve. Archivists need to be familiar with who their users are, understand why they’re using archival collections, and engage in outreach so that they can provide excellent reference services.

    Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts outlines the various components of:

    • providing physical, intellectual, and virtual access,
    • acquiring reference knowledge and skills,
    • navigating legal regulations and ethics, and
    • designing use policies and effective outreach.

    Cheryl Oestreicher contextualizes how all of these components fit within other archival functions and offers strategies and detailed practices for creating comprehensive reference programs that archivists can adapt for any type of institution.

    Both new and experienced archivists will find Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts a solid foundation on which to add their own ideas for how to bring people into the archives as well as bring archives to the people. Readers are encouraged to examine these concepts and practices in conversation with others and to consider how archivists can continue to advance reference and access.

    Product Details

    Publisher: Society of American Archivists (2020)
    PDF: 195 pages
    ISBN: 978-1-945246-40-1

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