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Access & Restrictions Policy

In accordance with the standard professional policy on access adopted jointly by the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association, JDC Archives in New York and Jerusalem are generally committed to making research materials available to users on equal terms of access. However, as a private repository, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Archives reserves the right to restrict or permit access to JDC collections at any time.

It is the responsibility of JDC Archives to balance the researcher’s need for access with the need for confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are reflected in the material. This is especially true in light of the fact that JDC’s operations and activities are ongoing. Consequently, the use of some materials in JDC Archives, especially those of recent date, is subject to restrictions established pursuant to a policy adopted by JDC’s Archives & Oral History Committee on September 25, 1998. These restrictions apply to particular kinds of information or designated classes of materials among the holdings.

Note: JDC historical records older than 35 years are open to the public, with the following exceptions:

1. Materials containing information that in the opinion of JDC could adversely affect its ongoing work. Such records will not be disclosed under any circumstances.

2. Materials containing information the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or libel, including information about the physical or mental health or the medical or psychiatric care or treatment of an individual, and which personal information is not known to have been previously made public.

Such records may be disclosed only:

[a] to those officers and employees of JDC Archives in the performance of normal archival work on such materials and who have a need for the record in the performance of their official duties; and/or

[b] in the discretion of JDC to researchers only for the purpose of statistical or quantitative medical or psychiatric research, when such researchers have provided the Archives with written assurance that the information will be used solely for statistical research and that no information from which any individual can be identified will be disclosed.

3. Materials containing confidential financial information, which was obtained with an expressed or implied understanding of confidentiality. Such information may be disclosed only:

[a] if the information consists of statistical totals or summaries and does not disclose the identity of individual parties;

[b] if the party with whom the confidential relationship has been established agrees to its release; and/or

[c] if, in the judgment of JDC, the passage of time is such that release of the information would not result in harm to JDC or other related parties identified in the materials.

4. Materials containing confidential employment or personnel information, such as those relating to an appointment, employment, performance evaluation, disciplinary action, and similar personnel matters. Such information may be disclosed only:

[a] if the information is a summary statement of service;

[b] if the information does not identify particular individuals; and/or

[c] if the individual or his legal representative agrees to its release; and/or

[d] if, in the judgment of JDC, the passage of time is such that release of the information would not result in harm to JDC or other related parties identified in the materials.

5. Materials related to or compiled during an investigation of individuals or organizations.

Such information may be disclosed only if, in the judgment of JDC, the passage of time is such that release of the information would not result in harm to JDC or other related parties identified in the materials.

6. Materials restricted by statute, regulation, or court order. Such information may be disclosed only in accordance with the provisions of such statute, regulation, or court order.

7. Materials containing information regarding confidential decision making such as information that was given in confidence in the period before a policy determination was made, including but not limited to advice given by attorneys, public accountants, and staff advisors. Such information may be disclosed only:

[a] if the decision has been made public and the nature of the determinations leading to the final decision is publicly known; and/or

[b] if, in the judgment of JDC, the passage of time is such that release of the information would not result in harm to JDC or other related parties identified in the materials.

8. Unprocessed materials.

Conditions of Access for Visiting Researchers 

Obligations of JDC Archives

  • JDC Archives are open to researchers who have completed and signed the attached application form and have been approved by JDC prior to their first visit to the Archives.
  •  All textual and photographic materials are available in conformity with standard professional policy as determined by the joint statement on access of the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. A copy of this statement will be made available for review on request. Materials for research will be provided on microfilm or in digital format whenever possible.
  •  JDC Archives will make reasonable attempts to provide researchers with reproductions of originals that are too fragile to handle and/or are unusually valuable.
  •  JDC Archives staff will be available to researchers for consultations, up to one hour.
  •  JDC Archives will provide researchers with photocopies or scans of requested documents that are not available on microfilm. A fee schedule will be provided upon request.
  •  JDC Archives will supply reproductions of requested photos upon receipt of payment and a signed Photo Order and Licensing Agreement.

Obligations of the Researcher

  • The researcher will abide by archival procedures at JDC Archives.
  • The researcher will give explicit credit and citation to “The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee” in any publication or other format utilizing JDC images, quotations, or data based on JDC records. Researchers who have used the digitized holdings to conduct their research will give explicit credit and citation to the “Georgette Bennett and Leonard Polonsky Digitized JDC Text Archive.”
  • The researcher agrees to comply with all relevant laws including, without limitation, United States and Israeli copyright laws and the laws of all other relevant countries with regard to utilizing such material.
  • The researcher commits not to publish information in breach of the access policy even if he/she finds it in the files accidentally. The researcher agrees that photocopies or reproductions will not be transferred to other individuals or agencies (third parties) without the explicit prior written permission of JDC Archives.
  • The researcher agrees to pay all bills for duplication or reproduction promptly.
  • The researcher agrees to indemnify and hold harmless JDC Archives, its officers, employees, and agent, from and against all claims and actions, without limitation, arising out of the researcher’s use of JDC archival materials.
  • The researcher agrees to submit to JDC Archives one complimentary copy of any publication, video, or article based on JDC archival materials.
  • The researcher recognizes that failure to comply with the terms of this hereof could cause irreparable damage to JDC. Accordingly, in the event of a breach or threatened breach by the researcher of any of the covenants or provisions hereof, JDC shall be entitled, without notice, to a temporary restraining order or an order preliminarily enjoining any such breach or threatened breach. The researcher consents to the jurisdiction and venue of any court sitting in New York, New York, for purposes of such injunctive relief.
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