UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acquisition of photographs : determining archival quality Carroll, Ann Elizabeth


This thesis examines the collection or acquisition of photographs by archives. It focuses on those documents which are not generated by the archives' sponsoring institution but are potentially archival. The thesis identifies the characteristics of archival documents by which archivists can judge the archival quality of photographs and thus their suitability for acquisition. Such documents form organic collections which have been set aside by their creator and responsibly cared for. These characteristics are drawn from the theories formulated by European archivists, Sir Hilary Jenkinson, S. Muller, J.A. Feith, R. Fruin, Eugenio Casanova, and American archivists, Theodore Schellenberg and Lester Cappon. This paper also examines the question of whether archives should establish a separate collections policy for photographs. Conservation, description and copyright implications posed by photographs suggest this as a plausible procedure to take. However, the integrity of collections and their increasingly multi-media nature suggest otherwise. Archival documents should not be collected focussing on the form of the record, but rather as forming part of the total documentation of their creator.

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