Survey on Research Access to Protected Records Containing Health Information About Individuals


As part of a joint effort to develop best practices for enabling access to special collections containing protected health information (PHI) and other types of access-protected (“restricted”) records, the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions are conducting a survey to determine what information researchers need to determine whether or not to pursue access to restricted health records, such as medical records, psychiatric/mental health records, and photographs taken as part of medical treatments.

Whether you are new to research or an experienced historian, we?d like to know how you?ve located health related records relevant to your research, if you?ve been through the IRB (Internal Review Board) process, and, most importantly, what information you think should be included in library catalog records and manuscript and archival collection guides (?finding aids?).

To participate, go to:

The findings of this survey will be reported at a 2014 American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) annual meeting lunch session and as part of a session at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). By responding to this survey, you are helping libraries and archives improve how they describe records and make hidden collections available to researchers in more useful ways.

Emily R. Novak Gustainis
Head, Collections Services
Center for the History of Medicine
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
[email protected] / 617.432.7702