Course:2: Acquiring Your Collections
Lesson:Lesson 3: Appraisal--Deciding What Records to Acquire
Topic:Using an Appraisal Tool: The Riveroaks Scenario


Using an Appraisal Tool

Many historical records programs guide and document their appraisal decisions by using a worksheet. To see how this works, spend a few minutes with this hypothetical example.

Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum

Cliff Rahmad, Curator (volunteer, part-time)
Marion Weiss, president

About the Organization.

Founded in 1868, the Historical Society and Museum has a small historical records collection that is kept in the society's headquarters, the Horatio House (a Victorian house c. 1888), which is open to the public on weekends. The collections include personal papers of local artists whose works are represented in the museum; genealogical records; and documentation, photographs and ephemera from the society's sponsorship of the annual Old Riveroaks Day event for the past 52 years.

Collection Policy

The purpose of the historical records program is to document the history of the community of Riveroaks and the region and to support the collections of the museum. The archives identifies, collects, preserves, and makes available records and personal papers of enduring value from Riveroaks residents, organizations, businesses, and related groups from 1700 to the present. The Archives makes its collections available upon request and by appointment.

The Historical Society accepts records and personal papers in paper formats (bound volumes, papers, and photographs) only. The organization cannot support materials in other formats. 

The historical records program acquires materials by gift, bequest, purchase, or other transactions that pass title of the materials to the Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum.

Materials will be removed from the historical records program if the records do not fall within the collecting scope of the program. The curator will make a recommendation for removal of material. The Board of Directors will approve or reject this recommendation for removal. When materials are removed, the historical records program will offer the materials to other community organizations before destroying them.

The historical records program does not loan its materials, except by action by the Board of Directors.

Using scorecard
Using a standardized tool such as a scorecard can help you with appraisals.

 Riveroaks logo
Horatio House

 Marriage papers
Riveroaks only accepts paper format records documenting the history of the community and region.

Donor signing over collection
Acquisitions are by transfer of title to the Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum.

Riveroaks' program offers materials to other community organizations before disposal occurs.