Course:2: Acquiring Your Collections
Lesson:Lesson 3: Appraisal--Deciding What Records to Acquire
Topic:The Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum Scorecard

 

The Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum Scorecard

Now that you've learned about the town of Riveroaks and the organization's history and collections policy, we're going to look over Cliff Rahmad's shoulder as he examines three sets of papers that have been offered to the Riveroaks Historical Society and Museum. As you can see, his scorecard follows the "5 Question" format we described earlier in this lesson. Given his answers, do you agree with his decisions?


Assignment icon

We have created a blank version of this "scorecard" for you to use with your own program. It can be adapted as necessary to meet your own needs. Get the scorecard!

 

 

 Three Sets of Papers to Consider Adding to the Collection

 

James Tayson Papers

 

Charlotte Tomlinson Papers

Artist Lisa Smith Papers

When were the records created?

 

 

 

1a. Are the records old?

1910 - 2000

1940 - 2000

1920 - 1970

1b. Are the records scarce?

No -- routine business records

Some

Yes

1c. Are the records from an important time period?

Yes

Yes

No

1d. Do the records cover a long or short period of time?

Long

Long

Relatively Long

Why Were the Records Created?

 

 

 

2.  Do they document the principal activities or functions of the creator?

Yes

No

Yes

What Is In the Records?

 

 

 

3a. Do they document important activities?

No

Yes

Yes

3b. Are they the only source of information?

No

Yes

No

3c. Are they the best source of information?

No

No

Yes

3d. Do they dispute other records?

No

Yes

No

3e. Do they provide unusual? information?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Who Created the Records?

 

 

 

4a.  Do the records reflect a routine or unusual point of view?

Routine

Unusual

Unusual

4b. What was the position of the creator?

Founder of local manufacturing company

Local collector and historian

Local artist

4c. Was the creator personally involved in the activities recorded?

Some

No

Yes

4d. Did the creator possess the necessary expertise to understand the events recorded?

Yes

Yes

Yes

4e. Does the creator display a bias?

No

Yes

No

How do the records fit with our program?

 

 

 

5a.  Do the records meet the requirements of our collection policy?

No -- not historically valuable, just routine records

Yes

Yes

5b. Where is the geographical focus?

Riveroaks

Riveroaks

Hiltonia Valley

5c.  Do they duplicate or support current holdings?

Some duplication

Some duplication

Support

5d. What is their research potential?

Low

Extraordinarily high

High

5e. Do they meet researchers needs?

No

Yes

Yes

5f. What is the condition and size of the group of records?

25 cubic feet; fair condition; stored in file cabinets

40 cubic feet; fair condition; stored throughout house in various boxes

20 cubic feet; good condition; stored in steamer trunks

5g. Can we support the storage and staff costs, necessary preservation and conservation of the records?

Yes

Yes

Yes

5h. Are there political considerations in accepting or rejecting these records? Any positive or negative repercussions from donor? Any precedent set if accepted?

Possibly negative repercussions if we reject, but we should be able to avoid

Yes

No

Accept or Reject Records?

 

 

 

6.  Are there records valuable and appropriate for our program?

No

Yes

Yes