Appraisal Policies

  • Before accepting any material into the Archives, whether donated, loaned/deposited, transferred or purchased, the Archivist must determine its administrative, legal fiscal, historical/research and intrinsic value.
  • In selecting records for retention in the Archives, priority should be given to records that meet any of the following considerations:
    • Administrative, Legal, Financial Values. The record should reflect the development and activities/operations of the University, its offices, departments and units. No record should be destroyed that is considered vital to its creator for administrative, financial, legal or other reasons.
    • Age. Any pre-war record is significant to the Archives. However, the material need not be old to have archival value.
    • Volume/Quantity. Appraisal of large bodies of documents can be difficult and time-consuming, but the Archivist must make judgments based on a quick examination of the documents and an understanding of the functions and activities of the records creator.
    • Form/Type of Material. Some types of material have greater research value because of the information contained therein, such as correspondence, diaries, reports, policy statements and the like. Different media forms should be appraised for a variety of qualities; e.g. the clarity of a photograph should be as important as its content; an oral history tape is valuable for both as content and recording quality.
    • Uniqueness. The Archivist should keep original handwritten letters, manuscripts, etc., not only for their significance but also for their intrinsic value, i.e. their uniqueness or rarity. And this same principle goes with memorabilia items and records in varied media.
    • Accessibility. When accepting materials, the Archivist must balance the creator's right to impose restrictions on the use of the materials with the research need of the user. The Archivist must exercise caution in accepting materials with too many restrictions or unreasonable conditions inhibiting their use.
    • Suitability. The archival material must fit into the collection policy of the Archives and/or enhance the rest of its collections.
    • Cost. How much it will cost to preserve and store the material, and if it is worth the expense are important factors to consider in accepting materials into the Archives.