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Close Examination Guidelines

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments recognizes a responsibility to make its resources available to qualified researchers, including scholars, performers, instrument makers, and students and members of the general public. The following guidelines have been established to ensure the safe handling of the objects and efficient use of staff time in the accommodation of those conducting research in the Collection.

  1. Prospective researchers should identify the objects they wish to examine by consulting the Online Checklist of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments and the museum’s website. The number of instruments should be limited to those that can be adequately examined in a four-hour session. Requests for longer periods of research must be submitted to a museum curator.
  2. The researcher should submit the online Request for Close Examination form at least two weeks prior to an intended visit to the Collection. This form is intended to establish the researcher’s credentials, define the purpose and extent of the examination, and establish the date and time of the appointment. At least one alternative to the preferred time and date should be provided in the request. Any additional person accompanying the researcher should be identified in the request; children are not permitted in the study areas of the museum.
  3. The object(s) requested for examination will be placed in a study area for the researcher. The researcher may handle the object(s) only under the supervision of a museum staff member and must use gloves if required. Measurements may be taken if such measurements are not already established in the museum documentation for the object(s), in which case the researcher must provide his own non-metallic measuring instruments.
  4. No instrument shall be played or disassembled without the express permission and presence of a member of the curatorial staff. Researchers are not permitted in the storage areas of the museum and cannot be granted free access to museum archives; selected objects and documents may be furnished on request. Exhibit cases will not be opened nor will instruments be moved during regular visiting hours.
  5. Researchers are permitted to photograph objects in the Collection for their own use. Intended use of a tripod or any special lighting brought by the researcher should be noted on the Request form.


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