Policy No: 012
Approval Date: 11/5/03
The New Mexico State University Library will use the procedures below which are adapted from the following sources:
- Ham, F. Gerald. Library Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts.
- Society of American Archivists Fundamental Series.
- Society of American Archivists. Chicago, 1993. Pp. 108.
- Huskamp-Peterson, Trudy, Peterson, Gary. Archives and Manuscripts: Law
- Society of American Archivists Basic Manual Series. Chicago, 1985.
ANALYSIS OF APPRAISAL (7) SECTIONS:
Function: Evaluate Importance of Record's Original Use
- Who made the record and for what purpose?
- What level of policy-making and executive direction in the administrative hierarchy is the office or person?
- What are the significant functions of the organizational unit or person that created the records?
- What records are most closely related to and best document significant functions?
- Significance of the records creator's position in the organizational hierarchy.
- Significance of the records creator's functions.
- Significance of the records themselves.
Content Examination: Informational Significance of the Record
- How significant are the subjects or topics documented in the records as defined through the repository acquisition policy?
- How well do the records document those subjects?
- Significance of the subject.
- The quality of the documentation.
- Completeness of the record.
- Time span offered.
- The general quality of information.
Context Examination: Significance of the Record in Relation to Other Documentary Sources.
- How unique is the physical record; is it duplicated in the creating agency or elsewhere?
- If the record exists in several forms, is there a preferred form of retention?
- How unique is the information in the record and how does it compare in scope and quality with information found in related or other sources?
- Is the record an acceptable substitute for a preferred record that is not available for retention?
- Can the information in the record be linked with other records so that it more usefully enhanced?
- How scarce is the documentation on a subject?
- Record duplication.
- Preferred format of record
- Uniqueness of information
- Record substitution
- Record linkage
- Scarcity of the records
Accessibility and Use:
- How does the record meet the information needs and interests of various user groups served by the NMSU Library?
- What is the potential utility of the record based on past and present research use?
- What are the physical, intellectual, or legal barriers in making the record accessible?
- NMSU library clientele?
- Past and projected use? Exhibits?
- Accessibility of the records and information?
Cost-Benefits: Value of Information vs. Cost of Preserving
- What are the costs of identifying, appraising, and accessioning the records?
- What are the costs of processing the acquisition to an affordable level?
- What are the costs for affordable preservation treatment?
- What are the costs for housing the original records or reducing their bulk by microfilming or sampling?
Selecting Records for Intrinsic Value:
- Physical form that may be subject to study if the records provide meaningful documentation or significant examples of the form.
- Artistic or aesthetic quality.
- Usually curious or uniqueness of the record or its physical features.
- Records exhibiting a certain age or age providing a quality of uniqueness.
- Useful value in constructing exhibits.
- Authenticity, date or author or still another characteristic that is significant and ascertainable by physical examination.
- Public interest because of and not limited to direct association with historically significant, or perhaps famous people, places, things and events and other issues.
- Documentation of an institution, an agency, or legal basis.
- Documentation of policy making at the highest or executive levels when a policy has an effect throughout that certain organization, institution or agency.
Appraisal of Special Classes of Records:
Electronic or Machine-Readable Records (MRR):
- Data are at a micro-level rather than in summary form.
- Will be used for statistical analysis or searched on a data element or accessed on a case-by-case analysis.
- Can be linked to other machine-readable files or databases.
- Will be of high interest to professionals in the fields where automated techniques are used to gather research.
- Retaining information in machine readable form is cost effective to information being stored on paper or microfilm.
- Entire information system should be appraised as a single entity or item.
- Retaining information in machine readable form improves access, retrieval and manipulation for users.
- Personal identifiers can be removed to access records which may have been closed.
Still Photographs, Moving Images, Sound Records, Graphic Records, Combinations of Sound and Visual Records-Some Electronic:
- Black and white still photographs: the camera negative and a first generation print.
- Color transparencies (slides): the original transparency and one copy.
- Motion picture film: the original negative or color original with separate sound track, a master positive or duplicate negative and optical soundtrack, and a projection print or videocassette copy.
- Videotape: the original recording and one copy.
- Audio recording discs: the master tape, matrix or stamper, and one disc.
- Audio tape recordings: the original record and one copy.
- Is the medium stable in its current form?
- When the information in the record needs to be transferred to a more stable medium for preservation and access, can this transfer be done satisfactorily?
- Will the technical quality of the information remain useful after several information transfers?
- What generation of the record is preferred for preservation?
- What is the best form of the information?
- Is the secondary or background information in visual records of value.