Post Modernism and Archival Appraisal Seven Theses
Image source: joshuafkitchens


Harris, Verne. “Postmodernism and archival appraisal: Seven theses.” S. A. Archives Journal 40, (June 1998): 48. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 6, 2017).


Verne Harris describes seven basic theses for understanding archives and postmodernism. This is a basic overview of the how archives have been impacted by postmodern theory. This work provides a good introduction for students learning about appraisal theory.


Handwritten Notes Page

Post Modernism and Archival Appraisal - Seven Theses

Data Curation Notes
Image source: joshuafkitchens


After a conversation with a few colleagues, we discovered that there isn’t a really good text that deals with data wrangling and data curation. We are discussing and thinking about what sort of project to work in this field. We’ve considered the following

  • data curation textbook (open access)
  • colloquium on data wrangling with peer reviewed document created after the event


I have no notes that I’m ready to share at this point


Currently, I’m investigating what sort of out put to generate for this project

The Surest Proof:’ A Utilitarian Approach to Appraisal
Image source: joshuafkitchens


Greene, Mark. “‘The Surest Proof:’ A Utilitarian Approach to Appraisal.” Archivaria 45, no. 0 (January 1, 1998).



Notes - The Surest Proof : A Utilitarian Approach to Appraisal

The Surest Proof “: A Utilitarian Approach to Appraisal

ARST 5500 Week 14 Reappraisal and Deaccessioning
Image source: joshuafkitchens

Table of Contents




  • Discuss assignments
  • Lecture/Discuss Reappraisal and Deaccessioning
  • Conduct Assignment 8 in class
  • Slides


  • Talk about what’s mentioned in this sample policy
  • Ask questions about what it defines?
  • Ask about what a retrospective deaccession would look like. How would they make this decision based on this policy?
    • Explicitly categories for location and formats
    • Date mentioned under actively solicit
    • Content mentioned under formats.

Disposal Terminology

  • Appraisal and selection
  • Weeding
    • Not full scale deaccessioning
    • focuses on duplicates or unnecessary materials at an item and folder level.
  • Deaccessioning
    • Formal process of removing from archive
  • Permanent
    • enduring on going
    • materials to always keep
    • related to value

Origins: Reappraisal and Deaccessioning

  • Leonard Rapport, “No Grandfather Clause.”
  • Karen Benedict, “Invitation to a Bonfire.”


  • Collect Information
    • Collecting policy, donor info, donor family info, political info, etc
  • Determine Ownership
    • Find agreements and talk to council
  • Make Decision
    • Yes or no
    • Determine method of deaccessioning if you say yes
  • Deaccession
    • “Let it Go”
    • What should be recorded?
    • Documenting the process
  • Evaluate

Key Points to the Process

  • Get Permission and make many people responsible
  • Document Process extensively

Reappraisal Reasoning

  • Response to aggressive collecting
  • Recognition that not all decisions were good
  • Appraisal less systematic

Is Hindsight 20-20?

  • Two approaches, discuss and ask who is right

Diff: Public v. Personal Archives

  • Conversation about values
  • Evidential for public
  • Primary and secondary
    • Agencies
    • Personal

Permission and Expectations

  • make sure to get title and explain in detail the deaccessioning process in the Deed of gift
    • Example deaccessioning policies
  • What’s the manner
    • Family
    • other repository
    • Sale?
    • Destruction….
  • Transparency is key from start to finish

Politics of Deaccessioning

  • use art museums as an example
  • how does it look
  • is it different for weeding
  • Center around who holds the legal title
  • Tricky for collections that don’t have dead of gifts
  • Abandoned property and state law
  • DEED of GIFT is super important


Joshua Kitchens Collection

  • discuss series in class using
  • Have students take their own notes and prep for write up. Warn student to get a word doc, etc ready.
Blog Post Archives Privacy Black Lives Matter
Image source: joshuafkitchens


As the black lives matters protest were getting started, I made some note for a short blog post that I wrote. I was think about the movement and how archival literature had dealt with social justice. I thought about the following ideas.

  • Access
  • Collecting/Acquistion
  • Apprasial


11/20 Blog Post Archives, Privacy, Black Lives Matter


Here’s what I finally created from this though exercise in my notebook.

Blog Post: Archives and Current Events: Social Movements, Archival Access and Collecting