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Reference, access, and use

Randall C. Jimerson (Randall C. Jimerson is Professor of History and Director of the Graduate Program in Archives and Records Management at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 1 March 2003



Providing reference and access services for users requires special techniques and knowledge of a repository’s holdings. Archivists need to identify their user clientele and design services for their needs. User studies provide a means to collect valuable information about the clientele. In order to consult manuscripts and archives, users need to have both intellectual and physical access to the materials. Each of these access types requires repository policies and procedures, both to assist users and to protect the rights of donors and third parties who might be affected by disclosure of sensitive information. The reference process usually requires personal interaction and mediation by archival staff, both for security reasons and because of the difficulty of identifying potential sources to meet reference queries. The Internet provides important means of publicizing information about repositories and their collections, but technical and intellectual considerations limit the options for providing an entire records series or manuscript collection on‐line.



Jimerson, R.C. (2003), "Reference, access, and use", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 13-16.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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