Appraisal and Selection of Records: Spring 2014


Patricia Galloway


University of Texas at Austin


Spring 2014


The Appraisal and Selection course will treat paper records and those in other media, including electronic records. I plan to focus critically upon the following themes: what is the traditional theoretical basis for appraisal of archival materials, both records and manuscripts, and the social setting for its emergence; what were the effects of the shift to a “documentation strategy” as social history gained importance after the 1960s in the US and elsewhere; what differences are there in appraising personal as opposed to organizational records; what are the changes implied and entailed by electronic records in both organizational and personal arenas; and what have been the impacts of changes in archival practice on the structure of the archival record. Students will participate in class appraisal exercises and investigate appraisal practices in existing archives to discover what kinds of appraisal decisions are made in real-world environments, what constraints lead to such decisions, and how (and when and if!) archivists document their appraisal decisions.

Required Textbook:

Burton, A. 2005. Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions and the Writing of History.
Cook, T. 2011. Controlling the Past: Documenting Society and Institutions.

Link to Syllabus:


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