Third Thursday #1: Wrap Up

Many thanks to everyone who participated as part of our inaugural monthly conversation on appraisal! This was an experiment, and what we’ve learned will help us to put together an even better discussion next month.

(Speaking of next month, our second Third Thursday Conversation will take place on March 17– yes, St. Patrick’s Day! Mark your calendars, and look for a reminder from us that gives you a chance to respond in advance if you won’t be able to make it on that day.)

Back to Third Thursday #1: some overlapping themes that emerged from the discussion about your greatest appraisal challenges:

  • appraisal of inconsistent and disorganized documents with varied levels of accompanying context/metadata, often in challenging or proprietary formats
  • educating donors/bereaved family members and managing donor expectations/communications regarding donations
  • concern about collection priorities and goals– how to manage doubt/fear about collecting too much/too little/the “important stuff”
  • reappraisal and deaccessioning outside of personal subject/domain knowledge

First: you are not alone! It is clear from this brief conversation that there are archivists out there with the same questions and concerns that you may have around appraisal. We aim to bring together archivists who want to thoughtfully discuss and consider matters of appraisal.

Second: there are resources out there, so keep reading and thinking! Bringing further attention to conversations that touch on appraisal in archival literature, popular media, and other venues is part of what we try to do. We hope to continue highlighting relevant and important dialogues, with your help. We’re always open to hearing about new approaches, ideas, and suggestions!

Remember to join us here next month, on March 17,  for the second installment of Third Thursday Conversations about appraisal issues!


Let us know what you think!

~SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section Steering Committee

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