The Archivist as Planner and Poet: Thoughts on the Larger Issues of Appraisal for Acquisition

  • Barbara Lazenby Craig


This article comments on issues related to private sector acquisition strategies. It discusses the relationship of acquisition to institutional mandates and ideas of significance. Appraisal is linked to larger concepts of time, memory, and the continuing preservation of records. Four large areas for archives research are highlighted: role of appraisal in preservation; nature of records for private persons; connections between archives and other social memorials; and the study of archives users. The pursuit of archives history is advocated for its potential utilitarian and humane contributions to appraisal.

Author Biography

Barbara Lazenby Craig
Barbara L. Craig is Associate Professor of Archive Studies and Director of the Centre for Research in Information Studies in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. Prior to her appointment in August 1993, she was the Archivist of York University (North York, Ontario) and the Head of the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Scott Library from 1989, and an archivist at the Archives of Ontario from 1970. She has a Ph.D. in Archive Studies, has undertaken extensive research into hospital archives in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and has published widely on the history of record-keeping, the history of medicine and medical archives, and archive theory. A past chair of the Ontario Council of Archives, an officer of the Association of Canadian Archivists in many capacities, and a director of the Ontario Women’s History Network, Dr. Craig was the Reviews Editor of the American Archivist, and is now the Senior Associate Editor of Archivaria.
How to Cite
Craig, Barbara Lazenby. 2001. “The Archivist As Planner and Poet: Thoughts on the Larger Issues of Appraisal for Acquisition”. Archivaria 52 (November), 175-83.
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