UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Archival acquisition of the records of voluntary associations Hart, Susan Mary Anne


While acquisition is a vital responsibility for all archival repositories, generally accepted principles and practices of archival acquisition are sadly lacking in North America. This problem is particularly apparent with regard to the records of voluntary associations, the nature and significance of which are largely unknown to archivists. This thesis studies the problem of, and proposes a system for, archival acquisition of the records of voluntary associations. To begin with, it provides a definition, description, and categorization of voluntary associations, and delineates their life cycle and relationships with other organizations. The thesis subsequently moves on to consider the records-keeping practices of voluntary associations, the relevant acquisition practices of archival repositories, and applicable archival theories of acquisition and appraisal. Ethnographic methodology is used to analyse two voluntary associations, their activities, and their records-keeping practices. Finally it is proposed that archival repositories acquire the records of voluntary associations, that this can be done by existing repositories and through such arrangements as special committees, consortiums of associations, and special repositories, and that a standard procedure be followed by repositories when acquiring the records of a voluntary association.

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