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As our institutional archives mature and we gain more insight into what materials our researchers use, we become more discerning in what we collect and preserve. Real estate in any archives or special collections is valuable, and overcrowding is a common lament. In time, we become laser focused as to what collections within our holdings resonate with users. Equally, we all have collections that for whatever well-intentioned reason were accessioned, processed, and maintained, but that are inappropriate for our institutions. In her book Reappraisal and Deaccessioning in Archives and Special Collections, Laura Uglean Jackson has compiled 13 case studies describing various archival situations that focus on using reappraisal and deaccessioning as collection development tools to help build robust collections (p. ix). Rather than viewing it as a negative process, the archivists in Jackson’s book advocate for thorough reappraisal and targeted deaccessioning to address holdings in their repositories that are outside their collection scope or institutional mission. Jackson’s introduction includes concise abstracts of each chapter that provide a succinct description of each of the case studies summarized.


Published in Archival Issues v.40 no.2

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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