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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The ideas of T. R. Schellenberg on the appraisal, arrangement, and description of archives Stapleton, Rick


This thesis is an examination of the ideas of the eminent American archivist, T.R. Schellenberg (1903-1970), on the arrangement, description, and appraisal of archives. The formulation of these ideas is set in the context of the National Archives of the United States where Schellenberg was employed for more than twenty-five years. The National Archives was the first archival institution to attempt to deal with the problems created by large volumes of records. Accordingly, Schellenberg1 writings—the most famous of which is the book Modern Archives; Principles and Techniques (1956)—are concerned primarily with finding solutions to these problems, especially with regard to arrangement, description, and appraisal. His skilful blending of archival theory and practice in the presentation of general principles and techniques is emphasized, as well as his important role in the modernization of the archival profession. Through a comparison with the writings of other archivists, it is concluded that Schellenberg1s ideas have a continuing relevance for present day archivists.

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