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Archive Policies

General Policies

  1. There is to be absolutely no food or drink in the Archive premises.
  2. Access to the Archive materials is strictly monitored and is governed by the Archive Access Policy (shown below).
  3. The Archive is closed stack and the materials do not circulate. Archive materials are not to be removed from the Archive premises. Duplication may be performed under the direction of the Archive staff.
  4. The Liberty University Archive contains many materials which are protected by copyright. The materials may also be subject to publicity rights, privacy rights, or other legal interests. Written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders is required for reproduction, distribution, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. It is the responsibility of researchers to obtain the appropriate permissions before making use of the information found in the Archive’s collections.
  5. Researchers should make an appointment with the Archivist before their visit to discuss their project and research needs. Researchers are required to register with the Archive staff before they will be allowed to access the Archive’s collections.
  6. Archive materials are often fragile and delicate; they are to be handled with care and treated with respect. No markings are to be made on Archive materials. Researchers are to follow the handling guidelines given by the Archive staff.
  7. When handling Archive materials, please do not rest books or other objects on top of the materials. Please handle pages by the edges and try to touch the surface as little as possible.
  8. Visitors to the Archive are bound by Liberty University’s Code of Conduct.
  9. Researchers are to work from one folder at a time and to exercise every effort to keep materials in their original order.
  10. Archive staff will offer help with the use of finding aids or material location, but not help with research. This help will be offered impartially to all researchers.
  11. Only animals assisting with disabilities are allowed into the Archive areas.
  12. No writing implements other than pencils are allowed into the reading areas.
  13. All bags, briefcases and other personal items allowed into the Archive areas are subject to inspection by Archive staff.
  14. Patrons at the Archive are expected to be polite to the Archive staff and to follow any instructions given them by the staff.
  15. Failure to comply with any of these Archive policies may result in a loss of access to any Archive facilities and materials and/or involvement of the Liberty University Police Department.

Archive Access Policy

The Archive is a closed stack repository. Any unrestricted materials that a researcher wishes to use must be requested and will be brought to the researcher by Archive staff. Researchers who plan to make heavy use of the Archive collection should schedule an appointment with the Archivist to discuss their project and research needs. Archive materials do not circulate and are not to be removed from the Archive premises except for duplication by Archive staff.

The Liberty University Archive is committed to making research materials available to users on equal terms of access. Equal access does not mean that all materials are open to research use. It is the responsibility of the Archives to balance the researcher’s need for access with the needs for confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are reflected in the material. Consequently, the use of some materials in the Archives, especially those of recent date, is subject to restrictions.

There are several types of restrictions that may be applied to the Archives materials, and there may be more than one type of restriction on the same materials. The categories of restrictions are as follows:

  • Mandated Restrictions – materials that have been ordered closed by the administration.
  • Privacy Restrictions – materials containing confidential information or information, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or a libel of a living person.
  • Business Restrictions – materials containing confidential business or financial information.
  • Donor Restrictions – restrictions placed on collections by the donors when they are transferred to the Archives.
  • Physical Condition Restrictions – some materials may be in a poor physical condition which makes handling them impossible to do without causing significant damage to the materials. These materials will be restricted until either they are sufficiently repaired or a preservation copy has been made available for the researchers’ use.
  • Value Restrictions – some materials may have a great intrinsic or historical value. These materials will be restricted and their use will be mediated through access copies or other media representations of the originals.

As stated in section D of the Faculty handbook, access to restricted materials created by Liberty University requires that the researcher receive a signed authorization from the creating body. This type of permission will be needed by any researcher who wishes to view materials under Mandated Restrictions or Business Restrictions (see list above). Permission to view similar restricted materials created by entities other than Liberty University will require authorization from the President's Office. Any questions about restrictions can be addressed to the Archivist for further clarification.

It is not the policy of the Liberty University Archive to allow researchers access to unprocessed materials.