UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the theory of appraisal for selection Turner, Jane


Appraisal for selection is a vital archival function that demarcates knowledge of our past and influences our ability to form our future. Present archival theory, however, includes a profusion of conflicting and ambiguous criteria and terminology that correspond to the imprecise conceptualization of the Appraisal issues involved. The central problem of appraisal is how to mitigate the distortion in the documentary heritage of society that is caused by the subjective process of apportioning value to records. This thesis evaluates international appraisal theory in western continental Europe, Britain, United States and Canada through a study of existing literature that explains appraisal ideas and discusses their practical application. It identifies areas of contradiction and generally accepted principles of appraisal. The study then builds on the strengths of international traditions of appraisal by focussing on three theoretically coherent principles that can guide appraisal for selection: the principle of impartiality, the principle of provenance, and the principle of contemporary value.

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