Policy Concerning Access to Materials in the A.A. ArchivesThe materials in the A.A. Archives are available to A.A. members and non-A.A.s who have a legitimate interest, such as historians, social scientists, etc. However, as befits an anonymous organization, access is controlled. The trustees’ Archives Committee of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous has established the policies and rules. Each application for access to the archival holdings must be approved. This Committee has complete responsibility for the archival material and has the sole jurisdiction over its use.
The overall goal of the Archives is to remain as open as possible so that A.A. members may have ready access to the historical legacy of their organization and program. In addition, serious researchers should be allowed access to the holdings. Controls are necessary, however, to ensure the anonymity of all persons mentioned in archival material, in line with their own wishes and with the A.A. Tradition, in order to protect the materials themselves from loss, from physical damage and from deterioration due to handling, aging or environmental conditions. All A.A. members are welcome as visitors to the Archives Center. There they can see selected materials and speak with the archivist about our holdings, about archival activities in their areas and about how they might use the central resources both the material in the Archives and technical archival assistance.
If A.A. members or non-A.A. scholars wish to research specific unpublished material on-site in the Archives, a written request for access must be submitted to the trustees’ Archives Committee specifying which materials are desired, and the use(s) to which they will be put.
Trustees, directors and staff members may access archival materials (with the exception of restricted files) without having to make such requests, only if the requested material is to be used solely in the furtherance of their duties in their assigned roles. In the case of requests made out of personal interest, trustees, directors, and staff must follow the above procedure and file a written request prior to being granted access. No researcher will be permitted to remove original material from the Archives.