Research room regulations of the Institute of the History of Charles University and Archive of Charles University issued on the basis of § 36 Letter a) Act No. 499/2004 Coll. on Archiving and Records Management and on the Amendment of Selected Acts:
(1) Archival records can only be accessed after meeting conditions set out in the Act and in specially designated rooms (hereinafter ‘research room’). Persons applying for access to archival records (hereinafter ‘researchers’) do not have access to spaces where archival records are kept.
(2) Upon their entry in the research room, researchers sign in the research room’s visitors’ book, where they enter the date of their visit, their given name or names, surname, and reason for visit. Access to research room is forbidden to persons who are clearly soiled or dirty, under the influence of alcohol, banned drugs or other mind-altering substances, or who are armed.
(3) In the archive research room, each researcher truthfully completes a research sheet, which also serves as application for accessing archival records. Researchers prove their identity by presenting a valid national ID, passport, or other similar means of identification to the employee in charge of research room service and supervision (hereinafter ‘research room supervisor’). Research room supervisor checks the correctness of information entered in the research sheet. In case of an electronic research sheet, research sheet is completed by a research room supervisor in the presence of and in collaboration with the researcher. Once the research sheet is printed, researcher checks that all data is correct and attaches his or her signature. Researchers need to complete a new research sheet for each calendar year during which they wish to access archival records and in case of any change in the research subject or purpose.
(4) Researchers who cannot prove their identity to the research room supervisor by presenting a valid national ID, passport, or other equivalent means of identification are not permitted access to archival records.
(5) Archival records are presented to researchers based on their explicit request, which can be mediated to the archive in advance via a licensed mail provider or by electronic communication (e-mail, fax, telephone) using contact details published at the archive’s internet pages. In case request sent in a paper form does not include all information specified in Article 6 or the formulation of request for accessing archival records is unclear, imprecise, or vague, such request is treated as merely informative and only such materials which clearly seem to be the intended subject of research will be prepared for the researcher’s perusal.
(6) Upon arriving to the research room, researchers complete an application form for gaining access to archival records, where they list their given name or names, surname, research subject, name of the archival group, number of the box or book, eventually inventory number or reference number or number of the folio they wish to study. They attach their signature and a date. Application for access to archival records is an attachment of the research sheet. Researchers who used the method of applying for access to archival records specified in §5 and their application met all the requirements specified in that paragraph attach the document they received to the research sheet. If the archive received an incomplete or insufficiently specific request, researchers need to complete an application for accessing archival records in the research room. Researchers who proceeded according to §5 and request access to archival records other than those specified in the original request enter in their application for access to archival records only the newly requested archival records.
(7) Before entering the research room, researchers leave their coats, jackets, handbags, and other similar items at a designated place. Researchers are allowed to enter the research room only with a pen, pencil, their own loose sheets of paper without a paper folder, and a recording device such as a camera, portable scanner, or laptop without a case or sleeve. When finished with their research, researchers present their possessions for a check in order to ascertain that they are not taking any archival materials out of the research room. In particular, researchers open a laptop or a scanner and present their sheets of paper for inspection. Researchers may also be asked to present things they bring into the research room for inspection also upon their arrival to the research room (i.e., before they start working with archival records).
(8) In the research room, researchers are expected to keep quiet and respect the atmosphere of focused study, which should not be disturbed by noises, loud communication with other researchers, excessive movement around the research room, and other similarly distracting actions not in keeping with the purpose of visit to the research room. It is forbidden to smoke, drink, eat, or make phone calls in the research room. Devices brought by researchers with research room supervisor’s consent into the research room must have all audio signals switched off.
(1) When carrying out research, researchers follow instructions of the research room supervisor. The supervisor may ask a researcher to use only medium-hard pencils when taking notes from some kinds of archival records. Research room supervisors are not required to assist researchers in reading archived texts, translating them from or to other languages, explaining the historical context related to the archival records, and the like.
(2) In their study of archival records, researchers treat them with as much care as possible. Archival records must not be used as writing pads, it is forbidden to copy them directly using carbon paper, to underline text, cross out, make notes directly in the archival record, or use them in any manner or for any purpose other than consulting. Researcher who causes physical damage to archival record immediately loses permission to research archival records.
(3) It is forbidden to take archival records out of the research room. Researchers who take any archival record out of the research room immediately lose permission to research archival records.
(4) Archival records requested by a researcher may only be studied by one researcher at a time, namely the researcher in whose research sheet these archival records are listed. In certain well-founded cases (e.g., didactic or during excursions) research room supervisor may permit archival record to be inspected by more than one person at a time.
(5) Researchers receive access to archival records for their study at a time, in a total number, and in amount for one visiting day which corresponds to the technical and operational possibilities of the archive and the importance and purpose of the research in question. Each researcher always receives only so much archival record that research room supervisor can inspect the number and state of individual items when these records are returned. Time needed for the preparation of archival records for researchers depends on the complexity of their request and the location where these archival records are stored. When researchers request particular items kept in the Prague depository, their archival records are usually prepared within three days of ordering, but when they request unprocessed archival records or any materials kept in the Lešetice depository, it may take up to one month before the records are available in the research room. Researchers usually receive at most 5 boxes of archival records or an equivalent amount of individual items per one visiting day.
(6) The archive reserves archival records for study in the research room for at most thirty days after the agreed date for their access or at most thirty days after a researcher interrupted his or her study of the record. Archival records are reserved in the research room for the use of a particular researcher for a duration needed for their study. Unless a researcher systematically or regularly consults the reserved archival records or returns them, archival records are considered reserved for three months after they were requested. After the expiry of this period, reservation can be in well-grounded cases extended, usually at most until the end of the calendar year. Extension of reservation may depend on other researchers requesting access to the same archival records.
(7) The archive may enable access to archival records to a different researcher than the one who requested access if the researcher who asked for them first agrees that access should be granted to another researcher or if each of these researchers demonstrably studies these archival records for a different purpose or in connection with the research of another subject. In cases of simultaneous interest in the study of the same archival records by two or more researchers, the archive provides access to the archival records for whom they were reserved first. Possibly disputes in such situations are decided by the head of the archive.
(1) One’s own reproduction facilities for acquiring copies of archival records for the personal use of researchers can be used only if conditions set by the research room supervisor are met (such as quiet atmosphere in the research room), if such activity does not disturb other researchers, and if research room supervisor permits that such copies be made. Such a permission is expressed by research room supervisor’s signature on an application completed by a researcher (a model of such application is attached to model research room rules). This does not constitute any infringement of eventual property rights, copyright, and rights related thereto.
(2) After finishing their research of archival records, researchers leave their place in the research room appropriately tidy. No excerpts, notes, or other things are left behind in the research room: researchers take them as they leave.
(3) After completing of consulting archival records, researchers return materials in the same number, sequence, and state of preservation in which they were made available to them. Any violation of this rule immediately results in a loss of permission to access archival records.
(4) Reading room supervisor has the obligation to check the number and state of archival records returned by a researcher and to indicate that the records had been returned in requisite order by attaching his or her signature to the research sheet before the relevant researcher leaves the research room.
(5) Information gained by the study of archival records is to be used by researchers only for the purpose stated in the research sheet. If such information is used in academic, scientific, or other texts or is made public in some other way, it must be accompanied by a reference which includes at least the name of the archive, relevant collection, and some further specification of (reference to) the archival material the information comes from.
(6) Researchers who publish a work based on archival records kept in an archive send the relevant archive one copy of the work (e.g., edited archival records). Researchers who drew on records kept in several archives send their published work only to the archive whose records they used most. Other archives receive only bibliographic information regarding the publication or the work in an electronic format (pdf).
The Use of Finding Aids
(1) The archive provides researchers with access to finding aids.
(2) Unless the finding aids can be classified as official texts and if they meet the conditions for being subject to copyright, finding aids are treated as literary works.
Making Reproductions of Archival Records
The archive can provide reproductions of archival records which researchers study or need for official purposes or for their own work as listed in the research sheet depending on eventual consent of the owner of the archival records granted in advance and depending on concerns regarding the protection of copyright and rights related thereto. Reproductions of archival records are provided in accordance with operational conditions and technical possibilities of the archive. Reproductions of archival records whose physical state does not permit copying are not provided.
Loaning Archival Records for the Purpose of Study Outside the Archive
(1) A loan of original copies of archival records for study in a different archive than the one where they are permanently kept may be permitted by the head of the archive in exceptional cases and depending on the purpose, importance, and circumstances of their use. Safety of their transport and protection of the archival records at their temporary location and costs connected thereto must also be taken into account. Archival records may not be sent by mail. Instead, they must always be transported, under pre-agreed conditions, by an employee commissioned by the head of the archive which loans the archival records.
(2) A loan of original copies of archival records outside the archive where they are kept may be permitted by the head of the archive only in exceptional cases and under conditions specified in §1. Such original copies of archival records may only be loaned to the owner or creator of the archival record, a state organ, cultural or science institution for an exhibition or other public presentation it organises, to an organ of regional administration, or to persons who are, based on a special legal provision, entitled to access to certain documents in virtue of exercise of their official function and the stated purpose of the loan meets those conditions. A loan of the original copy of archival record may not be refused to a person who created this record if such person deposited archival record in the archive based on a deposit agreement or based on a deed of gift or deed of sale agreement and a loan of the relevant archival records is specifically stipulated in the agreement.
(3) If the archival record kept in a public archive is owned by the Czech Republic, a legal person established by law, or a territorial government body, such archival record may only be loaned based on its owner’s written consent.
(4) When loaning archival records, the archive is required to furnish the borrower with a receipt containing
a) a specific and accurate list of archival records being loaned,
b) the purpose of the loan,
c) loan date and date when loaned archival records are to be returned,
d) the name, surname, and address in the Czech Republic or abroad of the borrower based on their identification card or passport, if this is a physical person, or
e) in case of a legal person the official address of the borrower and the name and surname of a (physical) person commissioned by the legal person,
f) in case of a physical person, personal signature of the borrower or a person designated by the borrower. In case of a designated person, his or her name, surname, address of residence in the Czech Republic or abroad in accordance with personal ID, and the date of the power of attorney, which also needs to be presented,
g) in case of a legal person, a personal signature of the statutory organ of the borrower or person designated by the borrower attached to the name or business company. If the model signature of persons representing the legal person of the borrower includes an imprint of a stamp, an imprint of the stamp of the borrower must also be attached to the signature.
(5) In the archive, loaned archival records are recorded in a special book of loans and borrowed items.
(6) If the borrower does not return the loaned archival records within the agreed time and does not negotiate an extension of the loan, no further archival records will be loaned to that borrower until the loaned archival records are duly returned.
Using the Archive Library
Researchers may study books, journals, and newspapers located in the library of the archive which are connected to the subject of their research and its scope. The use of books, journals, and newspapers for study is regulated by loan regulations issued by the head of the archive.
Excursions to the Archive
During an excursion to the archive, visitors enter their names in the research room’s visitors’ book. Entry to archive rooms other than research room may only be permitted by the head of the archive and only in presence of an employee entrusted by this task by the head of the archive.
Fees for Services Provided by Archives
The costs of making excerpts, transcriptions, or copies of archival record in an analogue form or copies of archival record in a digital form, costs linked to search for archival record and their further preparation, as well as costs linked to making lists of sources relevant to a particular subject are determined by service fees.
Researchers who violate any of the basic duties defined in the research room regulations may be denied access to archival records or lose permission previously received.
February 6, 2015 in Prague,
Prof. PhDr. Petr Svobodný, Ph.D.
Director of the Institute of the History of Charles University and Archive of Charles University