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U.S. Department of the Interior - Museum Program
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B-7 Know restrictions associated with objects in your Federal museum collections



Stewardship of Federal museum collections requires that we manage these resources in compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards. This means providing public access to the extent possible within the constraints of applicable restrictions.

Restrictions may originate in law, professional ethics, or agency policy. Restrictions may be in place to protect the collections and associated resources (e.g., archeological sites or cave locations), to protect the privacy of donors, or to protect intellectual property rights associated with specific items in the collections.

Laws
Copyright Law
http://www.copyright.gov/
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html

Federal Cave Protection Act (Section 5)
http://www.karst.org/fedlaw.htm#5

Native American Graves Protections and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
http://www.cr.nps.gov/local-law/FHPL_NAGPRA.pdf

Freedom of Information Act
http://www.nps.gov/refdesk/npsfoia.html

36 CFR 79
http://www.cr.nps.gov/aad/tools/36cfr79.htm

Federal examples
National Park Service (NPS)
Museum Handbook, Part III - Museum Collections Use
Evaluating and Documenting Museum Collections Use
http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications/MHIII/mh3ch1.pdf
Legal Issues
http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications/MHIII/mh3ch2.pdf

National Museum of Natural History
Collections-based Information and Databases Policy
http://www.mnh.si.edu/rc/db/collection_db_policy1.html

Non-federal examples
Ethics of the American Association for State and Local History
http://www.aaslh.org/ethics.htm

National Railroad Museum
Donation Policy
http://www.nationalrrmuseum.org/collections-exhibits/policies/donation-policy.php