Access and Use

Providing access to collections is usually a fundamental part of an institution’s mission. When you provide access to collections, you also need to establish standards that ensure the safety of various objects in the collection. In this module, you will become familiar with different types of formal policies that are standard in the field. You will also understand that by identifying audiences, you can help establish proper methods of use.  

Access and Use from the Library/Archives Point-of-View webinar is presented by Burt Altman, University Librarian/Archivist, Florida State University Libraries, Division of Special Collections and Archives.
Museum Point-of-View is presented by Lynne Robertson, former Chief Curator and Assistant Director, West Florida Historic Preservation, University of West Florida.

Webinar Length: 46 min. 50 sec.
Note: When viewing the webinar, a new browser page will open.

Discussion Question: Libraries and archives have a long history of allowing public access to their various collections, but the meaning of “access” for museums has changed over time. How long has your institution been open to the public? What was understood by “access” when you first opened? How about today? Why the change?

Worksheet for Access and Use: A separate worksheet has been developed for this activity. 

Boynton Beach City Library Archives - Access and Use (.pdf)

Museum of Science & History of Jacksonville (MOSH) - Access and Use (.pdf)

Stranahan House - Access and Use (.pdf)

Tallahassee Museum - Access and Use (.pdf)
Note:  When viewing the samples a new browser page will open.  

Online Resources
Association of College and Research Libraries, ACRL/SAA Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries

Minnesota Historical Society, Request for Access to Museum Collections

National Park Service (NPS), Museum Handbook, Part 3: Museum Collection Use

Penn Museum, Access the Collections Policy

Speaker Biography
Burt Altman is University Librarian at Florida State University Libraries, Special Collections Department, where he has worked since 1981. Among his many presentations, Burt authored and presented, Batten Down the Hatches: Protecting Your Family Records during Hurricane Season. He has a MA in History from Adelphi University, a MLS in Library Science from C.W. Post Center, and a BA in Political Science from Ithaca College. He received archivist certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists, Society of American Archivists.

Lynne Robertson was formerly the Chief Curator and Assistant Director at the West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. She was responsible for writing and updating collections policies, as well as other procedures and manuals for the museum. Lynne taught sessions at the University of West Florida that dealt specifically with collections management and disaster preparations and recovery. She has presented for several webinars and workshops on disaster planning and response.



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