Access to Collections
The UK Collections Trust created a quick tip sheet on how to increase access to collections storage focusing on case studies from several museums in England.
The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) devotes Part III to collections use. A 60-page chapter states that access to collections can mean physical access or intellectual access to the available documentation on the objects. It discusses access in a broad sense, including exhibitions, publications, education, and research. It provides guidelines for evaluating proposed uses by considering legal, management, ethical, cultural, scientific, preservation, interpretation, and user qualification issues.
The Council on Library and Information Resources (ClIR) has an article from Bernard Reilly of the Chicago Historical Society. The article discusses the benefits and challenges of putting museum collections online as a means of providing additional access for visitors.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a brief article explaining why it continues to microfilm records rather than using digital technology.
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures provides it’s public access to collections policy online. The museum provides access via exhibitions and by appointment for study and research purposes.