Application to use material | Access to materials | Citing Library holdings
Reference and duplication services | Finding aids, guides, and indexes | Copyright
APPLICATION TO USE MATERIALS:Everyone who is at least 14 years of age, or who is accompanied by someone who is at least 14, is welcome to use the holdings of the Harry S. Truman Library. An appointment is not required to use the library's holdings, and neither is any kind of certification letter from a dissertation director or other mentor. Prospective researchers, however, are strongly encouraged to write or call the library in advance of their visit so that the staff can offer advice about the amount of materials on a given topic and can prepare in advance for a researcher's arrival. Every new researcher will be asked to complete an application.
ACCESS TO MATERIALS:The Truman Library's collections are available to all researchers on an equal basis. A small portion of the library's manuscript collection, less than 1 percent of the total volume, is restricted and not open to research. These restrictions are required by federal law and regulation or by the provisions of the deeds of gift of the donors of the manuscripts.
Most restricted documents contain either national security information or information the release of which could injure, embarrass, or harass a living person or the living members of the family of a deceased person. All restricted documents are clearly described and identified as withdrawn from the open file on Withdrawal Sheets (National Archives Forms 1429, usually referred to as "pink sheets") that are filed in the front of the folders from which restricted documents have been withdrawn.
Researchers have the right to appeal the restriction of any document in the library's holdings. The staff will describe these appeal rights upon request. In general, appeals involving documents restricted according to the provisions of donors' deeds of gift are handled either by the Director of the Truman Library or by a board of review composed of National Archives and Records Administration personnel.
Appeals involving documents restricted because they contain national security information are administered according to the mandatory review procedures contained in the prevailing Executive order governing the handling of classified information. These procedures involve the agency or agencies that originated the classified information, and are usually slow in operation.
The library also currently has a small volume of material that is not open to research because it has not yet been processed - that is, it has not yet been reviewed, arranged, described, and given necessary preservation treatment. It is the library's policy to process and open all newly arriving materials as soon as possible.
Notice of newly opened collections is routinely sent to concerned professional organizations. The library's Archival Research page also lists newly opened material in its "What's New" section. The Record, a publication of the National Archives and Records Administration, publishes notice of the Truman Library's openings on an approximately quarterly basis.
CITING LIBRARY HOLDINGS:Citations should identify items clearly, specify their file locations, and end with reference to the Harry S. Truman Library. Citations to Truman's Presidential papers typically require some information about series and subseries. Researchers are encouraged to use several abbreviations to simplify their citations to Truman's papers. These are:
Some sample citations to the library's collections follow:
REFERENCE AND DUPLICATIONThe staff accepts mail or telephone requests for easily identifiable items and can order copies on the requestor's behalf. The staff, for example, can locate and copy a particular Truman speech or series of speeches, a particular National Security Council report, or even the entire contents of given files, folders or boxes. The staff generally cannot identify for mail and telephone researchers everything on a given topic.
The audiovisual collections, unlike the library's manuscript collections, are controlled almost throughout by several item indexes arranged by subject, date, and accession number. The audiovisual archives staff is usually able to answer requests for particular photographs and photographs of specified subject or type. The same is true for the library's sound recordings and motion pictures.
other duplication services are available at fees set by the National Archives
and Records Administration. Fees other than those for self-service copying
done in the research room should be paid prior to the processing of orders.
Copies not carried away are sent by regular mail unless the customer requests
and pays for a different service, such as overseas air mail or special
courier service. Self-service copies are $.25 per page. Library-made copies are $.80 per page. Scans of photographs and documents are $20.00 per image. An 8x10 black and white photographic print made in-house at the Truman Library is $20. All photographic prints are available on matte or glossy paper. Digital copies of sound recordings are available for $20. SD-quality copies of already digitized motion pictures are available for $20, and HD-quality copies of already digitized motion pictures are $50. Copies of motion pictures not already digitized will incur additional costs. Returns of copied
material are not accepted unless the staff has made an error in completing
an order, and refunds are not made.
Returns of copied material are not accepted unless the staff has made an error in completing an order, and refunds are not made.
Finding aids for manuscript
collections provide folder titles that were assigned by the originator
of the files or provided by the archives staff.
and the majority of the library's donors, for instance, have donated their
copyright interest in their papers and other historical materials to the
U.S. government. Other materials in the library, however, do carry a copyright
interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the
The library issues
a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests
copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition
in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to
properly use copyrighted materials. The staff generally cannot answer
questions regarding the use of copyrighted materials, unless the materials
in question can be clearly determined to be in the public domain.
President Truman and the majority of the library's donors, for instance, have donated their copyright interest in their papers and other historical materials to the U.S. government. Other materials in the library, however, do carry a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
The library issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted materials. The staff generally cannot answer questions regarding the use of copyrighted materials, unless the materials in question can be clearly determined to be in the public domain.