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close this book The archival appraisal of records containing personal information: A RAMP study with guidelines
close this folder 4. Appraisal methodologies, criteria, and options
View the document Introduction
View the document The comprehensive appraisal method
View the document Appraising case files: general working rules
View the document Appraising case files: specific criteria
View the document Appraising case files: practical and preservation issues
View the document Appraisal Options
View the document Sampling: a summary profile
View the document Conclusion
View the document Notes


1. This chapter will outline methods and criteria, as well as practical approaches, that an archivist should use in appraising records containing personal information. Such appraisal operates on two levels:

-- for the large majority of case file series which have value primarily for their collective or evidential character (and thus have been identified for further appraisal using the macro-appraisal model in Chapter 3); and

-- for those series which only contain certain informational value about specific persons, places, and things.

The chapter begins by recommending a comprehensive approach as the only logical way to make sound appraisal decisions. This is followed by general and specific appraisal criteria, the latter both for special files in a series (informational value) and for series as a whole (evidential value, leading to the broader sharpening of the societal image). Various practical and preservation issues are next addressed, and then various appraisal options, including a brief summary of sampling, are presented.