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The policy on reference and access is intended to foster open intellectual inquiry within the context of the law, government regulation, institutional policy, and the ethics of the health and archival professions. It observes several guiding principles:

- respect for open intellectual inquiry
- protection of rights to privacy, proprietary information, donor agreements and institutional policy
- adherence to pertinent regulatory and legal codes
- preservation of unique and often fragile materials

M. D. Anderson’s Confidentiality Policy, as well as state and federal laws on privacy, restrict access to certain kinds of documentation, but the majority of archival records are available for research after processing has been completed.  Types of restricted material include, but are not limited to:

- patient records
- records of research subjects - proprietary documentation and other forms of intellectual property
- records which might compromise the privacy of living, third-party individuals
- personal papers and oral history interviews, restricted by the deed of gift



  • All materials in the HRC are non-circulating, and the stacks are closed.
  • Researchers are encouraged to contact the Archivist before undertaking research projects.
  • All researchers must sign the researcher agreement form and sign in each day, and personal belongings, e.g. backpacks and pocketbooks, must be stored in the HRC office.
  • Researchers will complete a “Request for Materials” form for each item requested.
  • As many of the materials in the HRC are unique, irreplaceable, and often fragile, they must be treated with extreme care.
  • Archival staff must be physically present whenever historical materials are used.
  • Only pencils or laptop computers may be used for taking notes.
  • No food or beverages will be permitted.
  • HRC staff will do all photocopying or scanning from HRC material.  A researcher’s request for photocopying may be denied if the item is too fragile. Researchers’ photocopy accounts will be used or other arrangements made for payment as necessary.
  • All requests for reproductions of photographs or videos from HRC collections will be handled by HRC staff, and researchers are responsible for payment.
  • Researchers are responsible for obtaining necessary publication rights and/or copyright clearances, prior to publishing.
  • The filing order for manuscript or archival materials must be maintained.  Any disarrangement of collections (or pages missing from books or journals) will be reported to the Archivist and can result in denial of research privileges.
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Historical Resources Center, should be properly credited whenever materials from it are cited.




  • Permission to publish or use reproductions of Historical Resources Center materials - PDF -
  • Terms and conditions for conducting research in the Historical Resources Center - PDF -



© 2012 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center