University of Maryland
College of Information Studies
Documentation, Collection and Appraisal of Records
Class: Tuesday, 12:30-3:15 pm, HBK 2119
Office Hours: Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 pm and by appointment
Students will understand the theory and practice surrounding the selection and appraisal
of records (in all forms) with enduring value. Archival repositories can retain only a
small fraction of the available documentation. This makes appraisal a core function for
the profession. The decisions made determine what survives as society’s documentary
and cultural heritage. Through readings, lecture, discussion, and visits to archives,
students will understand how appraisal is carried out in different institutional contexts
and how archivists apply appraisal concepts to build collections in various formats.
The following books or manuals are available from the University Book Center.
Members of the Society of American Archivists can order these books from SAA at the
member (discount) price. Other required readings are available on the class elms
blackboard site under Course Documents, as e-reserve, or through the McKeldin Library
reserve system. Additional readings and other materials may be distributed during the
semester. Most of the reserve readings will be available electronically through the course
elms blackboard site.
Boles, Frank. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts, Chicago: SAA, 2005.
Cox, Richard J. No Innocent Deposits: Forming Archives by Rethinking Appraisal.
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2004
Each week the class will consist of lecture/discussion, led by the instructor or a guest
lecturer. There will be no formal student presentations on the readings, but students are
expected to have done the reading and to participate in the discussions in class or on
elms (blackboard). In addition, there will be visits to area repositories, all scheduled
during class time
1. Class Participation (10%):
Students are expected to attend class, having read the assigned readings and
participate in the discussions. Student presence and punctuality are also expected
at the off campus repository visits, out of respect for our hosts.
2. Appraisal Project (30%)
: Students will conduct an appraisal project on the. Specific details on that
assignment will be provided on September 11. Due: October 9
3. Acquisition Policy Report (30%)
Each student will select a repository and evaluate its acquisition and/or appraisal
policies. While it is probably simpler to select a local repository from the list of
Cooperating Archives Practicum Institutions at
http://www.ischool.umd.edu/pdf/programs/fieldstudy.pdf, any archives (except
those covered by guest lectures in class and/or class site visits) is acceptable. As
usual, it is best to avoid one’s place of previous or current employment. The
report should be 5-7 pages, double-spaced, and should:
a. Describe the institution’s collecting policy (or practice if it lacks a formal
b. Place the collecting policy within the context of the institution.
c. Evaluate the institution’s policy/practice based on appropriate archival and
records management standards.
d. Examine a sample of the institution’s collection and series descriptions and
determine if they conform with the stated collection policy or practice.
e. Reference the literature on collecting policies as appropriate.
f. Propose ways that the policy and practice could be strengthened.
g. Propose ways that the “success” of the policy and practice could be
measured or evaluated. Due: November 6.
4. Research Report (30%)
Each student will write a research paper of 10-15 pages, double-spaced, on a topic
of his/her choosing. Since students are already conducting analyses of the
acquisition and appraisal policies of specific repositories, this paper should focus
on a specific archival topic, type of material, or theme in the archival literature,
relating to the documentation, selection, or appraisal of records, rather than a
specific repository. Repository examples can, however, be used to illustrate points
in the paper, which should also utilize archival literature beyond what we read in
class. Topic Abstract due (via email) by October 2. Paper Due: December 11
The course grade will be assigned in accordance with University and iSchool guidelines:
A=Outstanding; B=Satisfactory; C=Barely Adequate; D/F=Failure; I=Incomplete. The
grade will be computed as follows: Class participation=20%; Appraisal project=25%;
Repository report=25%; Research paper=30%.
Requirements for Written Work
Quality of Writing
Excellent written communication skills are essential to the provision of information in
professional contexts. Written work will therefore be graded on the quality of writing as
well as on the content and evidence of critical analysis. Grades for work that is not well
written, clearly organized, and grammatically correct will be reduced accordingly.
Double space, in Times New Roman 12 point type with one inch margins
Include a list of sources consulted
Cite sources, both in the text or as footnotes/endnotes, and in the list of sources
consulted in conformity with the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, or
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Be sure to include
page numbers for all citations.
Number the pages and staple the pages together. Do not place in a folder or
Classroom Environment: The classroom environment should be professional and
respectful. Punctual arrival for class, especially when we visit other sites or have a guest
lecturer, contributes to the smooth operation of the class and the quality of the learning
experience. Late arrivals, early departures, and unavoidable breaks are disruptive and
distracting. If you know you be late or have to leave early, please let the instructor know
in advance. Please turn off or mute all cell phones and other communication devices
during each class. You also should limit computer usage to course-related work (i.e.
Academic Integrity: The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally
recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council.
This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and
graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this
course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating,
fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic
Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.shc.umd.edu.
The Code of Academic Integrity strictly prohibits students from cheating on exams,
plagiarizing, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without authorization,
buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, and forging signatures. Plagiarism is of
particular concern in the networked digital environment. Students must write their own
essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea or a passage
of text from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation
marks where appropriate and by proper referencing using footnotes or in-text citations.
Instances of any suspected academic dishonesty will be reported and handled according
to University policy and procedures. For a more detailed description of the University’s
definition of academic dishonesty, visit http://faculty.umd.edu/teach/integrity.html.
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, remember to include and sign
the Honor Pledge on all examinations and assignments: "I pledge on my honor that I have
not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (assignment).”
This course follows all University policies and procedures, including adherence to the
Honor Code, accommodation for students with disabilities, and consideration for
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LBSC 785 Fall 2012 Schedule
4 Sept Introduction to Course/Introduction to Basic Appraisal
11 Sept Historical Development of Appraisal Theory Introduction to
Vin Novara appraisal project.
18 Sept Appraisal Methods and Practices I: Records
25 Sept Appraisal Methods and Practices II: Collection Development
and Collecting Policies
2 Oct Appraisal Methods & Practices III: Documentation Strategies Research Paper
and other Cooperative Approaches Abstract due
9 Oct Appraisal Methods & Practices IV: Sampling, “Black Box,” Appraisal project
and Case Files report due
16 Oct Appraisal Contexts I: Records of Science and Technology Class at AIP
Host: Joe Anderson
23 Oct Appraisal Contexts II: College and University Archives
Guest: Anne Turkos
30 Oct Appraisal Contexts III: Government Archives Class at U.S. Senate
Host: Karen Paul Historical Office
6 Nov Appraisal Contexts IV: Records of Business Acquisition Policy
13 Nov Special Formats I: Non-print media
Guest: Chuck Howell
20 Nov Special Formats II: Electronic Records
Guest: Mark Conrad
27 Nov Special Formats III: Websites
4 Dec Social Context, Activism, the Post-Custodial Era, and
11 Dec Reappraisal, Deaccessioning, and Ethics Research Paper due
Schedule of Classes, Readings and Topics
Unit 1: Introduction to Course/Introduction to Basic Appraisal Concepts
Boles, Frank. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts, Chicago: SAA, 2005,
Chapters 1-3, pp. 1-73.
Cox, Richard J. No Innocent Deposits: Forming Archives by Rethinking Appraisal,
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2004, Chapters 1-2, pp.1-46.
Unit 2: Historical Development of Appraisal Theory
Introduction to appraisal project. – Vin Novara
Schellenberg, T.R. “The Appraisal of Modern Public Records,” Available at:
records.html or (Course Documents).
Jenkinson, Hilary. A Manual of Archival Administration, London: Percy Lund,
Humphries & Co., 1966, pp. 1-16, 136-155. (e-reserve)
Duranti, Luciana. “The Concept of Appraisal and Archival Theory,” American Archivist
57 (Spring 1994): 328-344. Available at:
Boles, Frank and Mark A. Greene. “Et Tu Schellenberg? Thoughts on the Dagger of
American Appraisal Theory,” American Archivist 59 (Summer 1996): 298-310. Available
Unit 3: Appraisal Methods and Practices I: Records Management/Functional
Cox, Richard J. No Innocent Deposits, Chapter 4, 6, pp. 87-113, 147-163.
Robinson, Catherine, “Records Control and Disposal Using Functional Analysis,”
Archives and Manuscripts 25 (November 1997): 288-303. Available at:
Cook, Terry. “Macro-appraisal and Functional Analysis: Documenting Governance
Rather than Government,” Journal of the Society of Archivists, 25 (2004): 5-18. (e-
Roberts, John. “One Size Fits All? The Portability of Macro-Appraisal by a Comparative
Analysis of Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand,” Archivaria 52 (Fall 2001): 47-68.
Marcus C. Robyns and Jason Woolman, “Institutional Functional Analysis at Northern
Michigan University: A New Process of Appraisal and Arrangement of Archival
Records,” American Archivist, 74:1 (Spring/Summer 2011) p. 241-256. (e-reserve)
Juan Ilerbaig, “Specimens as Records: Scientific Practice and Recordkeeping in Natural
History Research,” American Archivist, 73:2 (Fall/Winter 2010) p. 463-482 (e-reserve).
Unit 4: Appraisal Methods and Practices II: Collection Development and Collecting
Endelman, Judith E. “Looking Backward to Plan for the Future: Collection Analysis for
Manuscript Repositories,” American Archivist 50 (Summer 1987): 340-355. Available at:
Ericson, Timothy L. “At the ‘Rim of Creative Dissatisfaction’: Archivists and
Acquisition Development,” Archivaria 33 (Winter 1991-1992): 66-77. Available at:
Max, D.T. “Final Destination,” The New Yorker, June 11 & 18, 2007, pp. 54-71,
available at: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/06/11/070611fa_fact_max
Boles, Frank. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts, Chapter 5, pp. 97-120.
Cox, Richard J. No Innocent Deposits, Chapter 5, pp. 115-145.
Faundeen, John L., “Appraising U.S. Geological Survey Science Records,” Archival
Issues, 32:1 (2010): 7-22, available at: http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com.proxy-
/hww/results/results_common.jhtml.44 (use research port) or Course Documents.
Sullivan, Tim. “An Artifact or a Payday?” New York Times, July 21, 2012. Available at:
Unit 5: Appraisal Methods & Practices III: Documentation Strategies and other
[Paper topic abstract due by e-mail
Hackman, Larry J. “The Documentation Strategy Process: A Model,” American Archivist
50 (Winter 1987): 12-29. Available at:
Ericson, Timothy L. “’To Approximate June Pasture’: The Documentation Strategy in the
Real World,” Archival Issues 22 (1997): 5-20. (e-reserve)
Marshall, Jennifer A. “Documentation Strategies in the Twenty-First Century?:
Rethinking Institutional Priorities and Professional Limitations,” Archival Issues 23
(1998): 59-74. (e-reserve)
Johnson, Elizabeth S. “Our Archives, Our Selves: Documentation Strategy and the Re-
Appraisal of Professional Identity,” American Archivist 71:1 (Spring/Summer 2008) 190-
202. (Course Documents) Available at:
Malkmus, Doris J., “Documentation Strategy: Mastodon or Retro-Success?” American
Archivist, 71:2 (Fall/Winter 2008): 384-409. (Course Documents) Available at:
Hackman, Larry. “The Origins of Documentation Strategies in Context: Recollections
and Reflections,” American Archivist 72:2 (Fall/Winter 2009) 436-459. (e-reserve)
Available for current SAA members at
Unit 6: Appraisal Methods & Practices IV: Sampling, “Black Box,” and Case Files
Cook, Terry. “’Many are Called, but Few are Chosen’: Appraisal Guidelines for
Sampling and Selecting Case Files,” Archivaria 32 (Summer 1991): 25-50. Available at:
Klaassen, David. “The Provenance of Social Work Case Records: Implications for
Archival Appraisal and Access,” Provenance 1 (Spring 1983): 5-30. (e-reserve)
Boles, Frank. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts, Chapter 4 and
Appendix 2, pp. 75-96 and 149-157.
James Gregory Bradsher and Bruce I. Ambacher, Archival Sampling: A Method of
Appraisal, MARAC Technical Leaflet No. 8, 1992. (Course Documents)
Unit 7: Appraisal Contexts II: Records of Science and Technology
Visit to American Institute of Physics
Host: Joe Anderson
R. Joseph Anderson and Orville R. Butler, M.Juris, Ph.D., History of Physicists in
Industry Final Report, September 2008. (Course Documents)
Hotz, Robert Lee. “A Data Deluge Swamps Science Historians: As Paper Trails Fade,
Digital Material Grows in Size and Complexity; How to Decipher Those 80-Column
Punch Cards,” Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2009. (Course Documents)
Unit 8: Appraisal Contexts I: College and University Archives
Guest lecturer: Anne Turkos, University Archivist, University of Maryland
[Appraisal assignment due]
Boles, Frank and Young, Julia Marks. “Exploring the Black Box: The Appraisal of
University Administrative Records,” American Archivist 48 (Spring 1985): 121-140.
Available at: http://archivists.metapress.com/content/1414g624328868vw/fulltext.pdf
Sarah Buchanan, Sarah and Richardson, Katie. “Representation through Documentation:
Acquiring Student and Campus Life Records through the Bruin Archives
Project.”American Archivist, Vol. 75, 1 (Spring/Summer 2012): 205-224. (e-reserves)
Available for SAA members at:
Unit 9: Appraisal Contexts III: Government Archives
Visit to U.S. Senate Historical Office
Site visit in Hart Senate Office Building
Host: Karen Paul, Senate Historical Office
Vogt, Sheryl B.“Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies: An
Evolutionary Mode;. In Karen Dawley Paul , Glenn R Gray , and L. Rebecca Johnson
Melvin (ed.) , An American Political Archives Reader, Scarecrow Press, 2009. (e-
reserves) or Course Documents.
Butler , Elizabeth and Karen Paul, “Electronic Record Systems on Capitol Hill: Finding
and Obtaining What You Want to Collect.” In Karen Dawley Paul , Glenn R Gray , and
L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin (ed.) , An American Political Archives Reader, Scarecrow
Press, 2009. (e-reserves) or Course Documents.
Aronsson, Patricia. “Appraisal of Twentieth-Century Congressional Collections,” in
Archival Choices: Managing the Historical Record in an Age of Abundance, Nancy E.
Peace, ed., Heath & Co., 1984, Chapter 4, pp. 81-104. (e-reserve)
Brown, Lauren R. “Present at the Tenth Hour: Appraising and Accessioning the Papers of
Congresswoman Marjorie S. Holt,” Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship (1987):
Unit 10: Appraisal Contexts IV: Records of Business
2012: [Institutional report due]
Lutzker, Michael A. “Max Weber and the Analysis of Modern Bureaucratic
Organization: Notes Toward a Theory of Appraisal,” American Archivist 45 (Spring
1982): 119-130. Available at:
Yates, JoAnne. “Internal Communication Systems in American Business Structures: A
Framework to Aid Appraisal,” American Archivist 48 (Spring 1985): 141-158. Available
Bruemmer, Bruce. “Avoiding Accidents of Evidence: Functional Analysis in the
Appraisal of Business Records,” in The Records of American Business, James O’Toole,
ed., Chicago: SAA, 1997, Chapter 6, pp. 137-160. (e-reserve)
Greene, Mark A. and Daniels-Howell, Todd J. “Documentation with an Attitude: A
Pragmatist’s Guide to the Selection and Acquisition of Modern Business Records,” in
The Records of American Business, Chapter 7, pp. 161-229. (e-reserve)
Unit 11: Special Formats I: Non-print media
Guest lecturer: Chuck Howell, National Public Broadcasting Archives
Connors, Thomas. “Appraising Public Television Programs: Toward an Interpretive and
Comparative Evaluation Model,” American Archivist 63 (Spring/Summer 2000): 152-
174. Available at:
Ide, Mary and Weisse, Leah. “Developing Appraisal Criteria for a Public Broadcasting
Station,” Moving Image 3 (Spring 2003): 146-157. (e-reserve)
Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn and Diane Vogt-O’Connor. Photographs: Archival Care and
Management, (Chicago:SAA, 2006), Chapter 4, pp. 78-133. (e-reserve)
Boles, Frank. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts, Chapter 6, pp. 121-
Unit 12: Special Formats II: Electronic Records
Guest lecturer: Mark Conrad, Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies,
Cook, Terry. “Electronic Records, Paper Minds: The Revolution in Information
Management and Archives in the Post-Custodial and Post-Modernist Era,” Archives and
Manuscripts 22 (November 1994): 300-329. (e-reserve)
Davis, Lidija “Who will Preserve Your Digital Data?” December 13, 2008 (Course
Fowler, Geoffrey A. “Buyer's E-Morse: 'Owning' Digital Books Purchasing Electronic
Tomes Online Gives Readers Fewer Legal Rights to Share and Resell Than Hard-Copy
Customers Enjoy.” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009. (Course Documents)
Paquet, Lucie. “Appraisal, Acquisition and Control of Personal Electronic Records: From
Myth to Reality,” Archives and Manuscripts 28 (November 2000): 71-91. (e-reserve)
The National Archives (UK), Appraisal Policy, Version 1, August 2004. Available at:
Unit 13: Special Formats II: Electronic Records Websites
WWilliam G. LeFurgy, “Records and Archival Management of World Wide Web Sites,”
Government Record News, the newsletter of the Government Records Section of the
Society of American Archivists, 2000-2001, Issue 2, April 2001. Available at:
Gordon Paynter, Susanna Joe, Vanita Lala, Gillian Lee, “A Year of Selective Web
Archiving with the Web Curator at the National Library of New Zealand,” D-Lib
Magazine May/June 2008, (Volume 14 Number 5/6). Available at:
Prom, Christopher J. and Ellen Swain. “From the College Democrats to the Falling Illini:
Identifying, Appraising, and Capturing Student Organization Websites,” American
Archivist 70:2 (Fall/Winter 2007): 344-363. Available at:
NARA, Guidance on Managing Web Records, January 2005. Available at:
Mike Ashenfelder. “The First Decade of Web Archiving at the Library of Congress, ”The
Signal: Digital Preservation (Course Documents).
Unit 14: Social Context, Activism, the Post-Custodial Era, and Postmodernism
Brown, Richard Harvey and Davis-Brown, Beth. “The Making of Memory: the Politics
of Archives, Libraries and Museums in the Construction of National Consciousness,”
History of the Human Sciences, 11 (1998): 17-32. (e-reserve)
Cox, Richard J. No Innocent Deposits, Chapter 9, pp. 231-258.
Nesmith, Tom. “Seeing Archives: Postmodernism and the Changing Intellectual Place of
Archives,” American Archivist 65:1 (Spring/Summer 2002): 24-41. Available at:
Schwartz, Joan M. and Cook, Terry. “Archives, Records, and Power: The Making of
Modern Memory,” Archival Science 2 (2002): 1-19. (e-reserve)
Wexler, Geoff and Long, Linda, “Lifetimes and Legacies: Mortality, Immortality, and the
Needs of Aging and Dying Donors,” American Archivist, 72:2 (Fall/Winter 2009): 478-
493. (e-reserves). Available at SAA website for current members.
Unit 15: Reappraisal, Deaccessioning, and Ethics
[Research Paper due]
Rapport, Leonard. “No Grandfather Clause: Reappraising Accessioned Records,”
American Archivist, 44 (Spring 1981): 143-150; Available at:
Benedict, Karen. “Invitation to a Bonfire: Reappraisal and Deaccessioning of Records as
Collection Management Tools in an Archives – A Reply to Leonard Rapport,” American
Archivist, 47 (Winter 1984): 43-49. Available at:
Cox, Richard P. No Innocent Deposits, Chapter 10, pp. 259-293.
Greene, Mark, “I’ve Deaccessioned and Lived to Tell about it: Confessions of an
Unrepentant reappraiser,” Archival Issues, 30:1 (2006), p.7-22.
Laura Uglean Jackson and D. Claudia Thompson, “But You Promised: A Case Study of
Deaccessioning at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming,” American Archivist
73:2 (Fall/Winter 2010), p. 669-685. (e-reserve)
American Heritage Center, “Deaccessioning Notice.” (Course Documents)
SAA Code of Ethics. Available at:
Examine: Guideline for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning, SAA Standards Portal
Look at: Protocols for Native American Materials.