Conducting Research in the ANS Archives

The ANS Archives serves two distinct audiences: ANS staff and external researchers. There are three levels of access to archival records: restricted, business confidential, and open. These are described as follows:

Restricted records are ones which are particularly sensitive. Examples of “restricted” records include personnel files and educational records. They are accessible only to the creating department, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director.

Business confidential records are records created within the past 25 years which are not considered “restricted” but which the ANS might not want individuals other than staff or consultants to view because they pertain to ongoing activities or current staff or officers.

Open records are records created more than 25 years ago that do not pertain to current activities, staff, or officers and which are not otherwise considered “restricted” or “business confidential.” A record also would be considered “open” if it has been published in some form, such as the ANS Newsletter. Anyone—staff, consultants, outside researchers—has access to “open” records.

Staff Access

All records are accessible to staff unless specifically designated as “restricted.” “Restricted” records may be accessed only by the Executive Director and the creating department and/or individual, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director.

Staff can borrow non-restricted records, although if records are borrowed a “file-out” card must be substituted in place of the borrowed folder, with the borrower’s name, file name and date removed noted.

External Researcher Access

External researchers are allowed access—either in person or through staff searching—only to “open” records, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director. Researchers can request archival staff to conduct the research on behalf of the inquirer. If the researcher elects to conduct his/her research in person, they must first submit a signed Access Application form. All visits to the archives must be arranged in advance with the archivist. Directions to the ANS can be found here.

Researchers cannot borrow original records or papers. Reproductions can be made for a fee at the archivist’s discretion.

Scans will be made by archival staff. Restrictions may be placed based on size of request, sensitive content, or preservation problems.

Before publishing a record from the ANS Archives in a publication, researchers must complete a Permission to Publish form.