Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Lesson Two: More About Historical Records
Topic:Intrinsic Value


Intrinsic Value

Definition icon

Some historical records have intrinsic value that requires they be retained and preserved in their original format. 

The actual format of the records is important or has value because of the way it was made, the material, or who made it.

Records with intrinsic value may:

  • Have unique physical features
  • Have artistic or aesthetic qualities
  • Have educational potential
  • Be associated with famous people, places, events, or issues

Example icon

Examples Of Intrinsic Value

  • A map drawn on a piece of animal skin
  • A letter signed by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The original constitution of Oregon  

Fact icon

Did you know that the Declaration of Independence was first issued as a pamphlet, then in the handwritten and signed form with which we are so familiar? This illustrates the strong urge to create a unique and enduring historical record.  

photo of original Declaration of Independence

Resources icon 

View the original constitution of the State of Oregon.