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Musical instruments are an invaluable primary source for organologists (specialists in the study of musical instruments), musicologists, instrument makers, performers, and cultural historians. The Collection is committed to granting access to its holdings to qualified researchers as freely as is permitted by good conservation practice and availability of staff time. The museum maintains an ancillary archive of information on the instruments and their provenance that includes measurements, photography, correspondence, sound and video recordings, correspondence, and conservation and restoration reports. Access to this information is granted by request as appropriate.
In recent years the Collection has undertaken an active program of digitization of the objects themselves and supporting documentation. This information is stored in the museum’s database, and much of it is now available on the online Digital Collection. Those wishing to conduct research in person at the Collection should consult Guidelines for Close Examination of Objects in the Collection, and submit an online Request for close Examination form.