The Practice, Power, and Promise of Archival Collections Assessment

by: Martha O'Hara Conway, and Merrilee Proffitt

The article discusses archival collections assessment. Research libraries have reportedly shifted from acquiring products of scholarship to being part of the process of scholarship. The new role equires research libraries to assess their special collections with the goal of reducing cataloging and backlogs, exposing existing collections and acquiring new ones. Archival collections assessment, which involves all kinds of collection surveys for purposes of appraisal, processing, conservation and collection management, reportedly enables institutions to make decisions on how to serve the needs of users, allocate available resources and acquire funding.

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Suggested Citation:

Conway, Martha O'Hara, and Merrilee Proffitt. 2012. "The Practice, Power, and Promise of Archival Collections Assessment." RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, 13 (Fall):100-112. Preprint available online at: (.pdf:775K/18 pp).