Attorney and archivist Menzi Behrnd-Klodt details legal issues in this excellent resource. The book contains 22 chapters that are divided into 4 major sections corresponding to functional areas of archival and public history work: legal framework (especially useful for its orientation to the structure of laws and litigation, how to work with lawyers, and how to be a good client):acquiring and securing ownership to collections;access (e.g., privacy, student, health, presidential, and public records); andcopyright and intellectual property.
Each chapter begins with a short bulleted list stating "Why this topic is important" and "Who will find the chapter particularly useful."
The book includes many sample legal documents, forms, policies, and guidelines (e.g., mission statement, collections policy, subpoena examples, deeds of gift, restrictions, copyright expiration table, deaccession and loan forms, and releases for users requesting copies from a repository). An explanation of the legal issues in each is provided along with the curatorial and cutltural objectives at stake.
". . . the single best introduction to the most problematic legal concerns of archivists. In our increasingly litigious age, every repository should have a copy for reference, and every archivist should keep a copy near at hand.
--PETER B. HIRTLE, Cornell University Library, Technology Strategist and CUL Intellectual Property Officer
"Behrnd-Klodt deserves praise for taking on the long-overdue update of legal issues affecting archives and history. . . . [in this] well-written and superbly structured work."
--WILLIAM J. MAHER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Public Historian (Fall 2009)
"Whether a beginner or experienced archivist, anyone who works with records and archival collections will find this an invaluable tool to decipher and understand the numerous legal issues surrounding archival and records administration management."
--MIRA WALLER, Duke University, Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists (Winter 2009)