n.materials physically and officially transferred to a repository as a unit at a single timeSmith 1938, 17With the constant influx of new acquisitions, it will soon be impossible to devise further means to overcome the handicap of lack of space.Cappon 1976, 431Those acquisitions included records of economic and social organizations as well as personal papers, not rating the one kind as more worthy of preservation than the other.Ham 1993, 18In general, new acquisitions should add substantive documentation, rather than simply provide more information about subjects that already are well-documented in a repository’s holdings.Ham 1993, 48Some repositories will recognize the donors of an exceptional acquisition with a formal opening of the papers or an exhibit drawn from the acquisition.Cox 2004, 78Descriptions of archival records and manuscripts collections need to be devoted as much to the origins of the acquisition as to any other matter.Boles 2005, 92Opportunity costs speak to the consequences on future acquisitions of accepting one set of records into the archives.Boles 2005, 146More familiar to many archivists, particularly those at collecting institutions, are what might aptly be called “disorderly” accessions. There are the acquisitions that have been haphazardly stored over time in attics, vaults, barns, basements, warehouses, and closets.Boles 2005, 148For donated records, legal title is usually conveyed by a deed of gift which should transfer a clear title to the repository and spell out the conditions governing the acquisition and administration of the records.Davis 2008, 185In some respects, the decision to treat situations on a case-by-case basis is not surprising. Archivists are accustomed to the fact that every acquisition has the potential of charting new territory. The range of possibilities with electronic records only exacerbates that challenge.Mumma, Dingwall, and Bigelow 2011, 96The 2010 Winter Games Fonds is our first major born-digital acquisition, and represents a pilot project for the implementation of a more complex long-term digital archives system.the process of seeking and receiving materials from any source by transfer, donation, or purchaseBarrett 1961, 333If we define the archive as a corporation’s memory, the problem of acquisition becomes one of deciding what to remember.Barrett 1961, 336Perhaps the key to ease of acquisition is a good existing records management program.Burke 1983, 294Although that is an often heard suggestion, I believe that full cooperation and parcelling out of collection areas in manuscript acquisition is an unattainable goal.Ericson 1991, 69But our instinct is still to see ourselves in the role of a twentieth-century Horatius-at-the-Bridge: the last line of defence between preservation and oblivion. This causes us to make utterly ludicrous decisions regarding acquisition by cloaking ourselves in the virtue of maintaining culture: if I don’t save it, who will?Maher 1992, 53–54In an effort to make the acquisition of new holdings more systematic, librarians and archivists have long endorsed the practice of preparing a general policy statement to define the criteria for selecting materials for their collections. In recent years, most librarians and many archivists have abandoned the term “acquisitions policy” in favor of “collection development policy” to reflect a broadening of the concept and to focus more on the long-term effect of selecting material than on the one-time act of acquisition.Maher 1992, 64The acquisition of student and alumni papers, as well as records of their organizations, will present greater challenges for the archivist because the universe of available materials is so large that systematic coverage is difficult.Maher 1992, 69In fact, the alum’s or institution’s ulterior motives can be the greatest risk in the acquisition of alumni papers. Many archivists have been persuaded to accept a particular collection of alumni papers when university officials believe there are prospects for financial contributions to the institution, even if the funds would benefit the football team rather than the archives. While these compromises are inevitable, the problem underscores the fact that the most important elements in managing all acquisitions will be to have a carefully developed documentation policy for the archives so that the archivist can respond to such pressures systematically.Maher 1992, 157, fn. 20“Acquisitions” implies that ownership of the documents is transferred from their current holder to the repository. Since no transer [sic] of ownership occurs when records are merely relocated from an office within an institution to the archives of that same institution, the term acquisitions is inappropriate for archives. “Accession” is more appropriate because it implies the action of taking in and establishing preliminary control over records, but the term acquisitions may be used here to describe the pre-accession activities needed to ensure the transfer/acquisition of both archives and manuscripts.Samuels 1992, 245Great collections brought prestige to the institutions and were used to attract faculty, students, and more collections. Early acquisition of materials often came through the gift or purchase of personal libraries and collections of artifacts, each with its particular strengths and idiosyncrasies.Ham 1993, 2Acquisition. The process of acquiring records from any source by transfer, donation, or purchase, or the body of records so acquired.Ham 1993, 18The policy should establish guidelines for setting priorities and levels of acquisition activity, stipulating conditions governing acquisition and retention, and stating what limitations or conditions the institution may impose on those collections that are within the scope of the policy.Ham 1993, 37Field collecting has a venerable history in this country. Throughout most of the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century, this method of acquisition was the primary means of saving the nation’s archival treasures. Field collecting was the preserve of both institutional collectors, such as the Library of Congress, and private collectors—whether would-be historians gathering their own research material or amateur scholars with a passion for acquisition in their area of expertise.Stevens 2001, 118The initial round of collections placed on deposit helped leverage the acquisition of other collections.Pollard 2001, 145The appraisal criterion of whether a collection fits within a given institutional collecting or acquisition policy seems to inadequately address underlying questions, such as what are the materials within collections that might fit this policy and why are they archivally valuable?Laver 2003, 167Collection development, or appraisal and acquisition—deciding which donors to solicit, which collections to accept, and which materials in a collection merit retention—is perhaps the most difficult aspect of archival work.Cox 2004, 78Archivists know full well that they cannot preserve all records with archival value. At the least, they can describe and otherwise deal with the records they have with full honesty about the fact that they represent serendipitous acquiring by collectors and acquisition for reasons other then [sic] the evidential and informational values they have learned to use for justifying such collecting.Craig 2004, 48–49Acquisitions and appraisal can be ad hoc, as appropriate records are identified or presented for acquisition. However, reaction to outside stimuli is not recommended as either a rational or a balanced way of building historical resources; where it has been in operation, often because of inadequate resources and staff, it is now being questioned and changed. Reaction to offerings as they are made also makes it difficult for the archive to develop a plan for active appraisals, to introduce innovations, or to sustain quality acquisitions over time. Passivity in acquisitions and reactive appraisal can rarely move beyond assessing the qualities of documents in isolated offerings. While it is probably necessary to be able to respond to unexpected opportunities, this should be countenanced only within the framework of an active process of appraisal and acquisition.Malkmus 2008, 386In her initial presentation, Samuels sharpened the meaning of documentation strategy by contrasting it with other approaches to acquisition.Shallcross 2016, 2The acquisition of digital archives offers tangible benefits for archives and their users, not the least of which is the preservation of authentic versions of key information and evidence in their original formats.
The term often is used in plural form in the second sense, yet still denotes the same meaning.