August 29: Stopping time and editing the past: Course Overview
Review of course materials and assignments:
Except for the designated texts (see Texts), readings will be available online or in journals available through the PCL catalog or
on BlackBoard; please check this syllabus from time to time for changes
Readings and precis
Lecture/Discussion: What is appraisal? Why do archivists do it? How can we examine it critically?
September 5: LABOR DAY HOLIDAY. Use this time to read for class! (see below)
September 12: Historical development of appraisal theory
Readings (This is a large assignment, so pace yourself and read one reading a day. It is important that you get a sense of the tension between the two major models for appraisal practice by reading both the original authorities and a few comments):
Jennifer Milligan, "'What is an Archive' in the History of Modern France," Archive Stories. France is part of our canonical archival history: here is a version as seen by a historian.
John Ridener, From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory (2008). Read the chapters on Muller, Feith, and Fruin, Jenkinson, and Schellenberg, in a specific order. First read through the chapter on MFF; then read the Jenkinson selection below; then read the chapter on Jenkinson; then do the same with Schellenberg. In other words, hear from the guys themselves first, then read Ridener's commentary.
Hilary Jenkinson, A Manual of Archive Administration (1922; 2nd
edition London: Percy Lund, Humphries, and Co., 1937), 136-155. The whole work is available online at http://www.archive.org/details/manualofarchivea00jenkuoft This represents what has come to be known as the Jenkinsonian or "hands-off" approach and it is important that you know what he actually said.
Theodore Schellenberg, The Appraisal of Modern Public Records (Bulletins
of the National Archives No. 8; Washington: National Archives, 1956),
237-278 . Available online from NARA: http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/archives-resources/appraisal-of-records.html. Schellenberg's American approach seeks reasons for keeping things.
Gerald Ham, Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts (SAA 1993), Chapter 1, "Archival Selection': A Most Demanding Task," and Chapter 2, "Appraisal Theory and Selection Goals." Available from Hathi Trust at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015024110697. Read this to get a review of the development of the conventional American view, with an emphasis on management issues and also including consideration of non-government materials.
Lecture/Discussion: What is archival appraisal? What is the general flow of its recent canonical history? What role does the type of archive play?
September 19: "Value" and "significance" as grounds for selection
Gary Taylor, Cultural Selection: Why Some Achievements Survive the
Test of TimeAnd Others Dont (New York: Basic Books,
1997), 3-20. Available on BlackBoard.
Frank Boles and Julia Marks Young, "Exploring the Black Box: The Appraisal of University Administrative Records," American Archivist 48 (Spring 1985), 121-140. Note that this theory is developed in more detail in Boles and Young, Archival Appraisal (Neal-Schuman 1991).
Intrinsic Value in Archival Materials (Staff Information
Paper 21; Washington: NARA, 1982), available from http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/archives-resources/archival-material-intrinsic-value.html.
Shauna McRanor, A Critical Analysis of Intrinsic Value, American
Archivist 59 (Fall 1996), 400-411.
Lynn C. Westney, "Intrinsic Value and the Permanent Record: The Preservation Conundrum," OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives 23(1), 2007: 5-12. Note how this article echoes the NARA position.
Students should choose and turn in their paper topic proposal and local archives choices today.
Lecture/Discussion: The "values" theory of appraisal, as presented by NARS/NARA. We'll talk about the social context of this statement and its reception as an example of the importance of historical context in understanding archival theory. What was going on in the archival world at this time? What was the status of NARA's power at this time? An interesting collateral reading would be Nicholson Baker, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (Random House, 2001), together with Richard Cox's response to it at http://www.archivists.org/news/doublefold.asp
September 26: Social history and Documentation Strategy: Comprehensive archival engineering
Gerald Ham, "The Archival Edge," American Archivist 38 (January 1975), 5-13.
Peter Fritzsche, "The Archive and the Case of the German Nation," Archive Stories. This reading offers a good background for the Booms reading below.
Hans Booms, Society and the Formation of a Documentary Heritage:
Issues in the Appraisal of Archival Sources, Archivaria 24
(Summer 1987), 69-107.
Bruce Bruemmer and Sheldon Hochheiser, The High-Technology Company: A Historical Research and Archival Guide (Charles Babbage Institute, 1989). Online at http://www.cbi.umn.edu/hostedpublications/pdf/CBI_HiTechCo.pdf
Katie Shilton and Ramesh Srinivasan, "Participatory Appraisal and Arrangement for Multicultural Archival Collections," Archivaria 63 (2007), 87-101.
Doris Malkmus, "Documentation Strategy: Mastodon or Retro-Success?" American Archivist 71 (2008), 384-409.
Joseph Anderson and Orville Butler, "History of Physicists in Industry," October 2008, published by the American Institute of Physics. This is an interesting optional reading following up on the American Institute of Physics' continuing interest in archiving, discussed with emphasis on digital recordkeeping at the end of the report with recommendations. The report is at http://www.aip.org/history/pubs/HOPI_Final_report.pdf
Lecture/Discussion: Archiving from the bottom up: social history and documentation strategy. This is the model that will never die and keeps evolving.
October3: Documenting institutional purpose: Functional Analysis and Macro-Appraisal
Helen Willa Samuels, "Improving our Disposition," Archivaria 33 (Winter 1991-92), 125-140.
Michael A. Lutzker, Max Weber and the Analysis of Modern Bureaucratic
Organization: Notes Toward a Theory of Appraisal, American Archivist 45
(Spring 1982), 119-130.
Terry Cook, "Macroappraisal in Theory and Practice: Origins, Characteristics, and Implementation in Canada, 1950-2000," Archival Science 5(2005), 101-61. This is the historical background. Note that this whole issue of Archival Science is about macroappraisal and is worth your time to learn a lot about an influential appraisal method.
Library and Archives Canada, Appraisal Methodology, Macro-Appraisal and Functional Analysis, Part A, Concepts and Theory, available at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/government/disposition/007007-1035-e.html ; Part B, Guidelines for Performing, available at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/government/disposition/007007-1041-e.html These two documents represent the theory and practice AS IMPLEMENTED.
Mark Green and Todd Daniels-Howell, Documentation with an Attitude:
A Pragmatists Guide to the Selection and Acquisition of Modern
Business Records, in James M. OToole (ed.), The Records
of American Buisiness (Chicago: SAA, 1997), Chapter 7. Available on BlackBoard. A brief version of this argument is to be found in a paper by Mark Greene, "Never Eat Anything Bigger than Your Head," from the 1996 SAA meeting, available at http://ahc.uwyo.edu/documents/faculty/greene/papers/SAA96.pdf
Lecture/Discussion: Archiving from the top down: Bureaucracy and function as instantiated in the Canadian Macro-appraisal. This is a very important model and I've added readings to walk you through how it is applied.
October 6: Appraising personal records
John Randolph, "On the Biography of the Bakunin Family Archive," Archive Stories.
Philip N. Cronenwett, "Appraisal of Literary Manuscripts." in
Nancy E. Peace, Archival Choices: Managing the Historical Record in
an Age of Abundance (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books), 1984. Chap.
5., 105-116. Available on BlackBoard.
Sue McKemmish, "Evidence of Me," Archivea and Manuscripts 24 (May 1996), 28-45. Available here: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/groups/rcrg/publications/recordscontinuum-smckp1.html
Catherine Hobbs, "The Character of Personal Archives: Reflections on the Value of Records of Individuals," Archivaria 52 (2001), 126-135.
Riva Pollard, "The Appraisal of Personal Papers: A Critical Literature Review," Archivaria 52 (2001), 136-150.
Tom Hyry, Diane Kaplan, and Christine Weideman, "'Though This Be Madness, yet There is Method in 't': Assessing the Value of Faculty Papers and Defining a Collecting Policy," American Archivist 65 (2002), 56-69.
Features of personal records, differences from organizational records--here we see the difficulties of working with records created by individuals with attention only to their own needs and concerns. Important issues here are related to how archives can justify dealing with the idiosyncrasies of personal records.
October 17: Sampling and
Eleanor McKay, "Random Sampling Techniques: A Method of Reducing Large, Homogeneous Series in Congressional Papers," American Archivist 41 (July 1978), 281-288. Available on BlackBoard.
Terry Cook, Many are Called but Few are Chosen: Appraisal Guidelines
for Sampling and Selecting Case Files, Archivaria 32 (Summer
Terry Cook, The archival appraisal of records containing personal information: A RAMP study with guidelines; available online at http://www.unesco.org/webworld/ramp/html/r9103e/r9103e00.htm
This is the excellent longer study from which Cook's article above is a summary, and it would be well for you at least to skim it (note that it has some additional information about the FBI appraisal and contributed significantly to thinking on macroappraisal), but this is OPTIONAL.
Margaret J. Dixon, "Beyond Sampling: Returning to Macroappraisal for the Appraisal and Selection of Case Files," Archival Science 5 (2005), 285-313.
James Gregory Bradsher, "The FBI Records Appraisal," The
Midwestern Archivist XIII, 2 (1988), 51-66.
Available at http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/45526
NARA, "Appraisal of the Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." This is a pdf file containing the first 568 pages of the report. You are luckily only assigned to read the first 55 of those, though the rest is informative if you are feeling ambitious. Scroll to the table of contents and read parts 1-4 (Introduction through Findings).
Optional challenge: see if you can find the archival documentation of this project in NARA's own online finding aids.
Thomas D. Norris, Prison Inmate Records in New York State: The Challenge of Modern Government Case Records.
SAA Case Studies, 1996. Avainable from Hathi Trust: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003938563 Notice in this reading how influential the FBI appraisal was.
Lecture/Discussion: Case files are arguably the best source of Schellenbergian informational materials, yet there are all kinds of obstacles advanced in the literature to keeping them. The first is the presence of personal data and the second is bulk. The solution: sampling; but see if you can figure out how satisfactorily anyone could defend the sampling techniques discussed in these readings.
October 24: Cost-benefit analysis, appraisal, and reappraisal: Does it cost too much to keep?
William J. Maher, "Measurement and analysis of processing costs
in academic archives," College and Research Libraries 43
(January, 1982) 59-67. This is alas not available online but is at PCL. If you want to make the effort, you can read this paper so as to be extra well-informed (this is a classic paper). Otherwise, read the report next by O'Hara.
Laura O'Hara, "Analysis of the costs of a backlog project
in response to recommendation 2 of the
2004 Archives and History Office
Program Review Committee report," draft report, 2007. Available on BlackBoard.
Paul Ericksen and Robert Shuster, "Beneficial Shocks: The Place
of Processing-Cost analysis in Archival Adminstration," American
Archivist 58 (Winter 1995): 32-52.
Mark Greene, "'The Surest Proof': A Utilitarian Approach to Appraisal," Archivaria 45 (Spring 1998), 127-169.
Leonard Rapport, No Grandfather Clause: Reappraising Accessioned
Records, American Archivist 44 (Spring 1981), 143-150.
Karen Benedict, Invitation to a Bonfire: Reappraisal and Deaccessioning
of Records as Collection Management Tools in ArchivesA Reply to
Leonard Rapport, American Archivist 47 (Winter 1984), 43-49.
Ross Harvey and Dave Thompson, "Automating the appraisal of digital records," Library Hi Tech 28, 2 (2010), 313-322. This article is really about reappraisal, from the point of view of sustainability rather than space.
Michael Doylen, "Experiments in Deaccessioning: Archives and Online Austions," American Archivist 64 (2001), 350-362.
Roy Rosenzweig, "Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era," American Historical Review 108, 3 (2003), 1-69. Access online through the History Cooperative via the UT Libraries online catalog.
SAA Deaccessioning and Reappraisal Development and Review Team, "Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning," 7/12/11 draft. You can find this document here: http://www2.archivists.org/sites/all/files/GuidelinesForReappraisalAndDeaccessioningDRAFT.pdf
Lecture/Discussion: Are archives really forever? Should they be? What is the significance of the switch from a discourse of "permanence" to one of "endurance"? We have already discussed this, but now we will focus on it in detail, from a background of a month's worth of additional readings.
October 31: Appraisal of non-text physical collections
Dick, Ernest. "Appraisal of Collections" in Steven Davidson
and Gregory Lukow, eds. The Administration of Television Newsfilm
and Videotape Collections: A curatorial manual (Los Angeles, American
Film Institute, 1997), Chap. 3., 31-48. Available on BlackBoard.
Karen Gracy, Film Preservation (SAA, 2007), Chapter 8, "Power and Authority in Film Preservation. Available on BlackBoard.
Christopher Ann Paton, "Appraisal of Sound Recordings for Textual Archivists," Archival Issues 22(2), 1997, 117-132.
Karen Oberdeck, "Archives of the Unbuilt Environment," Archive Stories.
Nancy Carlson Shrock, Images of New England: Documenting the Built
Environment, American Archivist 50 (Fall 1987), 474-498. Available on BlackBoard.
Joan Schwartz, "Coming to Terms with Photographs," Archivaria 54 (Fall 2002).
Lara Wilson, "Secure the Shadow: The Appraisal of Photographs," AABC Newsletter, 10:3 (Summer 2000). Available online at http://aabc.bc.ca/aabc/newsletter/10_3/secure_the_shadow.htm
OPTIONAL. Here is a student paper from a UBC class for you to compare your work with...
Lecture/Discussion: Most appraisal literature addresses text; many non-text materials have non-archival values that make their "appraisal" take on a different meaning.
November 7: Appraisal of virtual collections (with an exercise)
InterPARES Appraisal Task Force, two documents: "Appraisal Task Force Final Report" and "Appraisal Task Force Final Report - Models." Note that the second document formalizes material in the first, so read them together. Available at http://www.interpares.org/ip1/ip1_documents.cfm?cat=aptf
Rachel Hosker and Lesley Richmond, "'Seek and Destroy'--an archival appraisal theory and strategy," in Alistair Tough and Michael Moss (eds.), Record Keeping in a Hybrid Environment: Managing the creation, use, preservation and disposal of unpublished information objects in context (2006). Available on BlackBoard (under author "Tough")
Steve Bailey, "Appraisal, Retention and Destruction" and "The Problems with applying existing approaches to appraisal in the Web 2.0 world," from Managing the Crowd: Rethinking records management for the web 2.0 world (2008). Available on BlackBoard.
Peter Botticelli, "Records Appraisal in Network Organizations" Archivaria 49
(Spring 2000) 161-191.
Lucie Paquet, Appraisal, Acquisition, and Control of Personal
Electronic Records: From Myth to Reality, Archives and Manuscripts (November
2000), 71-91. Available on BlackBoard.
Catherine O'Sullivan, "Diaries, On-Line Diaries, and the Future Loss to Archives: or, Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them," American Archivist 68 (Spring/Summer 2005). OPTIONAL. A Pease Award winner from NYU.
Keli Rylance, "Archives and the Intangible," Archivaria 62 (2006), 103-120.
Lecture/Discussion: In the literature you'll hear that appraisal of digital records should follow the same guidelines as appraisal of similar (text, non-text) physical records. Is this true? How are digital records different? What tools exist to help in appraising them?
November 14: Archival agency: Appraisal and the construction of social memory
Marlene Manoff, "Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines," Libraries and the Academy, 4 (1), January 2004, 9-25. Available online through the library catalog. Seeing ourselves as others (especially librarians) see us.
Mark Greene, "The Messy Business of Remembering: History, Memory, and Archives," Archival Issues 28(2) (2003-2004), 95-103. Available at http://minds.wisconsin.edu/bitstream/handle/1793/45954/MA28_2_3.pdf
Verne Harris, "The Archival Sliver: Power, Memory, and Archives in South Africa," Archival Science 2 (2002), 63-86.
Laura Millar, "Touchstones: Considering the Relationship between Memory and Archives," Archivaria 61 (2005), 105-126.
Francis X. Blouin, Jr., "Archivists, Mediation, and Constructs of Social Memory," Archival Issues 24(2), 1999, 101-112.
Lecture/Discussion: Archival appraisal decides what will survive and what will not. Or does it? Have archives had this monopoly in the past, and do they still have it?
November 21: Formal Appraisal Method Testing: Experimenting with digital tools (with an exercise)
Adam Perer, Ben Schneiderman, and Douglas Oard, "Using Rhythms of Relationships to Understand Email Archives," JASIST 57 (14), 1936-1948 (online October 2, 2006).
Fernanda B. Viegas, Martin Wattenberg, Frank van Ham, Jesse Kriss, Matt McKeon, "Many Eyes: A Site for Visualization at Internet Scale," available at http://www.research.ibm.com/visual/papers/viegasinfovis07.pdf\
William Underwood, "Grammar-Based Recognition of Documentary Forms and Extraction of Metadata," International Journal of Digital Curation 1, 5 (2010), 148-159.
Maria Esteva, "Bits and Pieces of Text: Appraisal of a Natural Electronic Archive." Paper presented at Digital Humanities 2007. Available online at http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dh2007/abstracts/xhtml.xq?id=136
Patricia Galloway, "Collection Completeness and Appraisal: The Lens of Corpus Archivistics," Presentation at SAA Research Forum, 2007.
Lecture/Discussion: If digital records can be evaluated with digital tools, how will this change appraisal? Does this mean that we can potentially know with much greater confidence what is in a collection or series before we decide whether to retain or destroy it? And is it possible to discover what kind of impact specific destruction practices have on the contents of an archival corpus?
November 28: Summative Discussion of Class Ideas and Two Important Voices.
Jennifer Marshall, Accounting for Disposition, Chapters 7 and 8. This is a 2006 University of Pittsburgh dissertation, hopefully soon to be published, offering a comparative study of how three national archives, US, UK, and Australian, document their appraisal decisions. Available on BlackBoard.
Donald Schon, The Reflective Practitioner. This book, if you haven't been exposed to it before, outlines how reflective practice can be seen as experiment and provides a useful way to understand how utilitarian practice has become theory in archival appraisal. I couldn't find an easily-extractable segment of this so instead I direct you to the course materials from an MIT course on it: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/urban-studies-and-planning/11-965-reflective-practice-an-approach-for-expanding-your-learning-frontiers-january-iap-2007/
There is also a nice backgrounder on Schon himself here: http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-schon.htm
Lecture/Discussion: So what is the archivist to do? After the profusion of theories and practices we have discussed this semester, what would your first day as an appraiser look like?