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Access Restrictions to Material in the University Archives


Access to information in the Archives is governed by the need to balance two sometimes conflicting needs: the widest access to the most information and protection of the legitimate privacy rights of individuals. The Archives also must comply with University policies and regulatory and statutory prohibitions on the release of information. 

Restrictions are based on the ContentStatus, and Age of records. 

Unprocessed Materials Regardless of any other characteristic, these are restricted. Unprocessed records may be used only by the archivists and representatives of the creating or successor office. Unprocessed papers may be used only by the archivists and the donor.
Publications If processed, are unrestricted. Anyone may use them.
University Records

If processed and

  • more than 80 years old, are unrestricted. Anyone may use them.
  • between 20 and 80 years old and do not contain protected information, are unrestricted. Anyone may use them.
  • between 20 and 80 years old and contain protected information are restricted. They may be used by the archivists and employees responsible for administration of functions treated in the records. Other users must request permission to use these records.
  • less than 20 years old are restricted. They may be used by the archivists and employees responsible for administration of functions treated in the records. Other users must request permission to use these records.
Personal Papers If processed and there are no donor restrictions, are unrestricted. Anyone may use them. Student grades and graded coursework are subject to the same restrictions as University records.
Organizational Records Access to records of University-sponsored student, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends groups are governed by the by-laws or regulations of the group. Absent such restrictions, if processed, these records are unrestricted. Anyone may use them. Records of University subsidiaries are subject to the same restrictions as University Records.


Permission to Use Restricted Records

In preparing to do research in the Archives, you may determine, from the finding aids or in consultation with an archivist, that restricted materials may be relevant to your project. If your project is likely to require access to records less than 80 years old or unprocessed records, it is in your best interest to contact us some weeks before your visit.

Records between 20 and 80 years old must be reviewed to determine if they contain protected information.

When reviewing is complete, you will be notified if the records of interest to you contain protected information.

You may request permission to use restricted records in writing, via fax, letter, or email. Include a description of:

  • your project
  • the materials you wish to use, including identification number of the accession or series containing the material, box and folder numbers and folder title, type of restriction
  • your name and contact information (phone, fax, email, or mailing address)

Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified of the decision as soon as possible. Again, it is in your interest to submit this request as early as possible.

Sample permission request:

I am a doctoral student in the information management program of State University. As part of my dissertation research on the effect of the Classification Research Group on U.S. library science curriculum during the 1960s, I would like to use the following restricted materials:

45L 1:5 Library Science Students. (student information, 1964)
45QB 1:3 Center for Applied Linguistics (personal finances, 1967)
45RP8 11:6 Pathology Research Projects (personal finances, 1964)
A87-090 1:5 Special Classification Center, 1964 (unprocessed)

Joe Student
phone: 123-456-7890

Content Restrictions

Lawyer-Client Privilege Legal advice from an attorney to a client and information given to the attorney for the purpose of securing legal advice
Employee Evaluations Evaluation of job performance by supervisor or other authorized agent
Medical Information Mental and physical health conditions or treatment
Grievances and Discipline Grievance and disciplinary proceedings and unresolved allegations of misconduct
Financial Information Salary, income, net worth
Student Information Non-directory personally identifiable information about students


Status Restrictions

Processing Processed materials have been integrated into the collection. Unprocessed records have not - they remain as they were when transferred to the Archives.
Original Ownership

University records are those created by employees or those authorized to act for the University, in the conduct of their jobs.

Personal papers are created by an individual acting in a private capacity and owned by that individual.

Unpublished materials were created for distribution only to participants in the activities for which the records were created.

Publications were created for distribution to third parties, i.e., the intended recipients were not participants in the activities which created the records.


Age Restrictions

In general, restrictions diminish as records age. Our cut-off points are 20 years and 80 years.

Archives Home | CWRU's History | Collection & Services | Managing Records 

questions or comments? please contact archives@case.edu

Collections FAQ

Why isn't the book on the shelf?
Find out where a book is before you go to the shelf. Search the Case Catalog to see what it says like
- "Check Shelves" (look on the shelves, find it, & check it out);
- "Just Checked In" (ask staff for help, it's nearby, but too soon to be back on the shelves yet);
- "Off Campus" (out at an OhioLINK school);
- "Due mm/dd/yyyy" (it’s checked out until that date.) 
Tip: If it is not available, order an OhioLINK copy
Can I return books to a different Library?

Return Case or OhioLINK items to any Case library, yes. Case libraries have different hours, so your book might not get checked in on the day you return it if you use a bookdrop.

Return the CPL@Case-KSL books only to KSL, so the collection is here for you & others. Case libraries are not responsible for returning other local libraries’ books. Returning public library books here will not check them off of your account at those libraries.

What does "Check Shelves" mean?
"Check Shelves" means it is supposed to be on the shelf. If it isn’t there, double-check what the Case Catalog currently says to make sure that nobody else has checked it out or has kept it out too long.
How long does reshelving take?
The times are different, depending on what is being reshelved and what time of semester it is. KSL goal: to reshelve journals within 24 weekday hours, reshelve books within 48 hours. During peak times (end of semester) the time can be longer. Ask staff at the Main Service Desk for help.
How do I reserve a book?
Books are on the shelves for anyone who needs them, and are not reserved for individual use. If our book is checked out, order a copy from the OhioLINK.
Where are the UL Storage Stacks?
KSL has a university center half a mile from KSL, where lesser used or brittle books are kept, and the catalog search screen will display "UL Storage." You can visit the Center during daytime hours, or use an online request form to bring back the item to KSL. The center is now called RRCC (Retrospective Research Collections Center.)
Can I get a book or video on a specific date?
Yes, Case faculty, staff, & students can find out more details and use a convenient online request form for Book a Video or DVD  (KSL’s other collections are available only on a first-come basis for everyone, and cannot be booked ahead of time.)
What does a Book on Order mean? When will it get here?
When the catalog item displays “1 copy ordered for (library name)” the item is already in the library getting the final processing labels, etc., and will soon be on the shelf! Ask staff if there are other copies avaialable in OhioLINK in the meantime, or if you have an urgent need.
What is a PIN?
Your PIN is not assigned, you choose what it is and enter it on the Case Catalog at “View Your Library Record,” following the instructions. A Case Library PIN is a Personal Identification Number that protects your information, just like your bank ATM asks for a similar security PIN.
How do I get a library account & where can I look at it?
Case faculty, staff, and students automatically have online library accounts. You can look at it on the Case Catalog under “View your library record.” Use your library account to renew items on line and keep track of what you have checked out or ordered from OhioLINK or RRCC or Iron Mountain sites. Your Case ID is your library card!

View All FAQs

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