Not Mardi Gras (An Appraisal and Acquisition Case Study)

Learning Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of appraisal issues and make decisions given a specific scenario.
  • Students will develop a plan for appraising these records.


You are conducting an initial review of 1TB of images created by your university photographer. You don’t have time to review every picture, but you examine a few folders to get a feel for the image collection. During your random review, you discover two things. Some images show young women and men in odd poses in gym-like attire. Some poses involve arm flexing, various position highlighting areas of the body, etc. There are many of these images. Occasionally in this series of photos, you’ll see a well-known professor in the shot touching the image subject adjusting their poses. This professor is renowned because they authored a widely acclaimed book on anatomy.

Also during your cursory review of the images, you find a few photos of a music festival that was sponsored by the university. This music festival was a major event on campus a decade or so ago. There are several years worth of these images. Many of the images are of the bands that played, wide crowd shots, etc. During the examination of one year selected at random to help determine the types of images/shots, you discover an image of young women exposing herself to the camera.


  • Do the two unusual series of images mean a more in-depth appraisal of these records is needed?
  • Are some records in these two series university records? Are some not?
  • If a more in-depth appraisal of records is needed, given the number of records what do you do?
  • Does the subject matter affect how you approach appraisal?


  • Duranti, Luciana. “Concepts and principles for the management of electronic records, or records management theory is archival diplomatics.” *Records Management Journal* 20, no. 1 (2010): 78-95.
  • Craig, Barbara. Archival appraisal: theory and practice. 2004.

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