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Research collection access policy


The purpose of this policy is to further illuminate the manner in which members of the Museum, the Regiment, former members, their family and the general public will be allowed access to the research collection of the 48th Highlanders Museum.  Access to other collections is covered under the collections management policy 4.0.

Research Collection

The research collection is made up of three elements: a library, research files and an archive.

The Library Collection is made up of published works.  This collection is open access and under certain conditions may be borrowed by museum staff, and members of the Regiment.  These conditions include:

  1. The publication is in good condition.
  2. A duplicate exists or is it still available on the market.
  3. The member is in good standing with the Museum and the Regiment.
  4. The length of time to be borrowed is short.
  5. It is not required for another purpose.
  6. Not too many books are being borrowed.

Former members and their family along with the general public can consult the library collection in the Elms Research Room.

The Research Files consist of information that has been brought together to further support the other collections of the museum including reproductions from other sources; information that is not original.  Only information that is in the public domain is included in this collection.  The collection is open access and may be consulted in the Elms Research Room.

The Archive consists of the Regiments records and the records of members’ involvement in the Regiment.  This collection is unique and may contain information that is sensitive.  It is the purpose of this policy to protect this collection and the information contained with in by dictating the level and manner in which access will be allowed.

Access Categories

The 48th Highlanders Museum has three categories of access to archival records.  The category of access is based on three criteria: the physical condition of the record, the information it contains, the conditions imposed by the donor at the time of donation.  Records may be refused access if they are considered to fragile to be viewed, the information is sensitive, the record has not been accessioned or another copy is available.  The categories of access are Green (open access), Yellow (restricted access) and Red (closed access).

Green (Open Access):  Archival records may be examined.  The record’s condition is robust enough to bear the rigors of being examined.  Restrictions if any placed on the record by the donor have expired.  The information contained is in the public domain.  Records are considered in the public domain if they meet one of the following conditions:

  • Were publicly available and created to be publicly viewed.
  • Are 100 years old.
  • Contain private information of individuals who have been deceased for 20 years. Private information is anything that pertains to an individual beyond Name, Rank, Serial Numbers (Service Numbers).
  • Contain business information that transpired 20 years ago. Business information is anything that documents the day to day transactions of the Regiment.

Yellow (Restricted Access):  Certain conditions exist or must be met prior to archival records being made available.  The records physical condition requires special care or equipment to be viewed.  The donor has placed restrictions on the record.  Information contained within the record cannot be viewed unless certain conditions are met:

  • Individuals can be shown to have deceased 20 years ago.
  • The date of the record can be established.
  • The records are only open to authorised members of the Regiment but not yet available to the general public.

Red (Closed Access):  The Archival record is closed.  The physical condition of the record is to fragile to be viewed.  The donor has closed the record for a specific length of time.  The record contains business or private information that are not yet public. The 48th Highlanders Trusts have required that the record be closed and accessed only by the Museum  Manager or with the permission of the Trusts.

Archival Security

The archival collection of the 48th Highlanders Museum will be kept in a secure location.  Archival records will be stored by either medium or Fonds.  Records that are restricted or closed may be stored separately until these conditions of access are lifted.  The level of access that a record bears will be clearly indicated by colour tag on the exterior of the storage container. Archival records may only be viewed in the Research Room.

Only museum staff will be allowed to retrieve or shelve archival records. Only museum staff are allowed to remove archival records from the museum and then only for the purpose of reproduction.

Research Inquiries

The Research Room exists to fulfil the museum mandate to support research.  The Research room is available during museum hours by appointment or on a first-come first-serve basis.

The museum staff is on hand to assist researchers in identifying records that will assist researchers with their information needs.  Unrestricted Records will be made available to researchers on equal bases that abide by the rules of the Research Room.

Material viewed is not to be published without prior permission.  If publication of material is approved then its source must be acknowledged.

Researchers are reminded that military service records are not held by the Regiment but are available through the National Archives or the Department of National Defence.

Inquiries in Person

Researchers will be interviewed prior to being allowed access to archival records.  The 48th Museum researchers register will be filled out including name, address, and topic.  Researchers will be asked whether they have objections to sharing their research with others.  A copy of the rules of the Research Room will be provided which must be read and agreed to prior to access being granted.

Inquiries by Telephone

Research requests by phone are limited to one question.  Only publicly accessible information will be provided.  For further inquiries researchers will be asked to visit or put their requests on paper either through mail or E-mail.

Inquiries by Mail or E-mail

Research requests by mail or E-mail will be dealt with when museum staff is free in the order received.  E-mails will be answered by regular mail or E-mail as appropriate.

Recording Research Requests and Responses

Research requests will be recorded in the Research Register book including: date of request, name and contact information of requestor, information requested. Upon completion of research the date of reply will be entered in the Research Register. A copy of the research and requestor’s information will be placed in the Request for Research files by year, in the order completed.

Elms Research Room Rules

  1. Personal books, briefcases, handbags, coats etc. are to be left outside the Research Room.
  2. No eating, drinking or smoking are permitted.
  3. Laptop computers and cassette recorders are permitted.
  4. Personal scanners, photocopiers and cameras are not permitted.
  5. The Research room is restricted to two researchers at a time.
  6. Researchers are restricted to one archival box at a time.
  7. Archival records are not to be removed from the Research room.
  8. While handling records gloves shall be worn.
  9. Only pencils are to be used in the Research room.
  10. Records must be handled carefully while in your custody; you are responsible for their care.
  • Do not place volumes upside down.
  • Do not mark or rearrange papers.
  • Do not use stickies as markers.
  • Do not fold or tear records.
  • Do not write on top, bear down or trace over records.


A copy of a record can be made for a researcher once the following criteria have been met:

  • The record is not restricted or closed due to its condition or the information contained.
  • Copyright will not be infringed.
  • The volume of reproductions requested would not overburden the staff.
  • The cost of reproductions has been paid up front.

To indicate the location of photocopies mark the beginning and end with strips of paper provided in the Research room and set aside the file or volume for the museum staff.  Unless museum staff are free at the time copies will normally be made and then mailed to the requestor at their expense.

Disabled Access

It is the intention of the 48th Highlanders Museum to work towards providing a barrier free environment.  At present the museum is not accessible to those with special needs.


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