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Reading room regulations of the Federal Archives

§1 (Registration, Deregistration, Closed- Circuit Television)

(1) All users must register at the supervisor's desk upon arrival. Initial registration is carried out by submission of a valid identity card or any comparable photo identification.

(2) Before initiating their work at the Bundesarchiv, users declare that they have received and acknowledged the rules of conduct in the reading room and have noted the content by signing the usage application form.

(3) Users check out at the supervisor's desk when they have finished their work for the day or when they have finished their work altogether.

(4) Upon registration users accept that they may be monitored by closed-circuit television while they are attending the reading room.

§2 (Conduct in the Reading Room)

(1) Users lock their coats/jackets and personal belongings in a designated locker before they take up their work.

(2) Transparent plastic bags will be handed out, if required, to take any personal items into the reading room. Mobile phones may be carried along, provided that they are muted and their camera mode is not utilized. Permission to take along any mobile phones, however, may be revoked at any time.

(3) No writing utensils other than graphite pencils may be used. Pens, ballpens and similar writing utensils are not permitted. Pencils can be obtained at the supervisor's desk.

(4) Upon entering and leaving the reading room, all personal items carried must be presented unrequested for checking purposes.

(5) To rule out any confusion with records or librarial material, any documents of personal use (like writing paper, copies, notes) may only be taken into the reading room in a bound or stapled version. If required, these documents may have to be stapled or marked in any other form (e. g. by stamping).

(6) The usage of laptop computers in the reading room is permitted. Dictating machines may only be used in the users' booths or at designated desks.

(7) For the benefit of all users there should be maximum silence in the reading rooms. Conversations and other noise-emitting activities are to be avoided.

(8) It is prohibited to bring and consume any food and beverages in the reading rooms.  

§ 3 (Usage in the Reading Room)

(1) Records are solely to be used in the designated rooms respectively at assigned places. It is prohibited to remove any records, surrogate records, finding aids as well as other submitted documentation from the rooms designated for usage.

(2) Users are not entitled to a designated desk in the reading room. Desks may be assigned to users by supervisors.

(3) Permission to use records in booths apllies solely to surrogate records. The use of records in booths is subject to special prior authorization.  

§4 (Handling Records)

(1) Records are handed out and returned at designated counters. Any single-handed withdrawal of records is not permitted. Users shall return the records up to fifteen minutes before closing time of the reading rooms to ensure a regulated procedure and checking of the records.

(2) Users are not entitled to the provision of original records. Surrogate records will be provided, if available. Exceptions have to be decided upon by the divisions in charge.

(3) Significantly damaged or highly fragile records are excluded from usage. The division in charge of preservation decides on any exceptions.

(4) In general, only five units of records may be in process at the same time at desks, provided that documents are firmly bonded. In case there are any records with loose pages, only up to two units of records are handed out. Particular care must be taken in strictly keeping the given order of the provided records. When handling photos, large formats and the like, any quantity restriction is at the supervisor's discretion.

(5) The supervisors in the reading room can restrict the quantity of provided records especially when the order of records is at risk.

(6) If the work with the records is discontinued for more than two hours, records have to be returned at the counter.

(7) Records will be made available for usage for the duration of two weeks. When the lending period has expired, an extension of two weeks will be possible after consulting the supervisor's desk.

(8) Utmost care and gentle handling are to be exercised when dealing with provided records. It is particularly prohibited to rearrange the order or alter the location of records. Do not weigh down records by placing anything on them, do not rest on them, trace them or take notes on top of them.

(9) The use of gloves may be mandatory, especially when handling photo material.

(10) When marking records to be replicated, the provided insertion strips have to be used. Labelling by other marks or bookmarks is not permitted.

(11) Please indicate any damages or general discrepancies of records to the supervisor.

(12) Reading aids (magnifiers etc.) may only be used if records are not compromised in any way and the regular operation of the reading room is not affected. Reading aids that come into contact with the archival records are therefore not permitted.

(13) The use of cameras, scanners and the camera mode of mobile phones for the generation of exposures of records is prohibited. Exceptions apply to the use of feature or documentary films upon presentation of a written approval of the respective holder of rights and to exposures of documents for film- and TV productions supervised by the division in charge.  

 § 5 (Exclusion of Liability)

Users are responsible for the safe storage and supervision of any items brought along. The Bundesarchiv is not liable for any loss, missing, damage to or accidental destruction of these items, unless this is due to an act of gross negligence or malice.  

§ 6 (Suspension from Usage)

If a user does not comply with the provisions of these rules of conduct with regard to the procedure, the nature of usage and care when handling records, he/she can be suspended from usage and expelled from the reading room.  

§ 7 (Coming into Effect)

These rules of conduct for the reading room come into effect as of 1st October 2009.  

Status of: 30.09.2009