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Deciding what to save

Randall C. Jimerson (Randall C. Jimerson is Professor of History and Director of the Graduate Program in Archives and Records Management at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 1 December 2003



Archival appraisal is the process of determining which manuscripts and archives acquired by a repository are worthy of long‐term preservation. The abundance of modern records prevents saving everything, so archivists must make difficult choices. Records have value as evidence of organizations’ functions and activities, or for their informational content. Appraisal criteria include analysis of functions, context, content, future uses, and cost‐benefit of retention. Decisions to discard manuscripts are irreversible, so choices must be carefully weighed. Reappraisal and deaccessioning may also be applied to legacy holdings. The challenging task of appraisal also contributes to the preservation of institutional evidence, cultural heritage, and social memory.



Jimerson, R.C. (2003), "Deciding what to save", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 135-140.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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