n.the usefulness or significance of records that derives from their artistic characteristics or their particular visual or aural attractivenessPoole 1976, 164An interesting benefit from soaking aged yellowed papers in the two calcium solutions seems to be a “cleaned-up” look of some aesthetic value.O’Toole 1989, 22The report itemized nine standards by which to judge intrinsic value, including aesthetic value, exhibit potential, and cases where the physical form of the record might itself be a legitimate object of study.McRanor 1996, 406This criterion is otherwise known simply as “aesthetic value.” This quality, like any other ascription of value, lends no credence to appraisal methodology. Considering that philosophers have been unable, after centuries of reflection, to define unequivocally the notion of aesthetic value, it seems ludicrous to accept such an arbitrary, subjective, and “fuzzy” notion into the archival appraisal process.Parinet 1996, 485Sometimes documentary photos which are part of a strictly determined ensemble have undeniable aesthetic value as well. This is the case of the photos of Paris taken in the nineteenth century by Marville or Atget.
Aesthetic value is directly related to the concepts of artifactual and exhibition value, both of which focus on the value of a hard-copy record as an object and physical reality. However, archivists may also identify the aesthetic value of digital or analog audio, audiovisual, and silent motion-picture records, all of which would thus have exhibition value, but not all of which would have artifactual value.