Archivists first began codifying their behavior during the 1950s when "The Archivist's Code" was written by Wayne C. Grover for use within the National Archives.1 Reflecting a government archives perspective, it deals with such issues as service to researchers, access to records, avoiding conflicts of interest, and selecting records which can be widely used by researchers. While this code did not deal with any issues relating to institutions collecting personal papers and manuscripts, it was the only document dealing with ethical issues and was widely accepted by archivists and disseminated by the Society of American Archivists. "The Archivist's Code" remained the standard for the profession for nearly twenty-five years.
"Observations on the Ethics of Collecting Archives and Manuscripts,"
Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol11/iss1/4