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Do archives have value?

CHICAGO — Arguing that archives and special collections in libraries have been very poor at garnering statistical data and devising ways of measuring the impact of what they do, “Do Archives Have Value?,” published by Facet Publishing and available through the ALA Store, aims to redress the situation. Discussing the various valuation methods available, it explores a range of different cultural and organizational contexts through case studies from countries such as Australia, China, Japan, Malawi, Kenya, Russia, and Thailand. Edited by Michael Moss and David Thomas, the collection features contributions from Nancy Bell, Head of Conservation at The National Archives, Louise Craven, one of the leading UK archival scholars, Paul Lihoma, National Archivist of Malawi, Helen Morgan from the University of Melbourne, Pak Te Lee of the University of Hong Kong, and Richard Wato from the National Archives of Kenya. Key topics include:

  • the value of the Clinton emails for research;
  • the value of Russian archives before and after revolution;
  • the value of archives in public inquiries – the case of the Hillsborough tragedy;
  • the value of Find & Connect, Australia’s response to child abuse;
  • the Chinese long tradition of record keeping;
  • why and how to value;
  • valuing digital content; and
  • the commercialization of archives.

Moss is professor of archival science at the University of Northumbria, UK. Previously, he was research professor in archival studies in the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the University of Glasgow, where he directed the Information Management and Preservation MSc program. He is a non-executive director of the National Records of Scotland and until 2014 a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on National Archives and Records. In 2015 he was Miegunyah distinguished fellow at the University of Melbourne. Thomas is a Visiting Professor at the University of Northumbria where he is involved in research into access to contemporary records. Previously, he worked at the National Archives where he was Director of Technology and was responsible for digital preservation and for providing access to digital material. He has written articles and book chapters on archives, focusing on the implications of the digital.

Facet Publishing, the commercial publishing and bookselling arm of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, is the leading publisher of books for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or [email protected].

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