n.the usefulness or significance of an object based on its physical or aesthetic characteristics, rather than its intellectual contentLewellyn 1979, 29One manuscripts curator samples letterheads for their artifactual value and to identify accounts in the ledger.Russell 1982, 48Whenever possible, original bindings are saved, especially when the bindings have artifactual value.Battin 1990, 189The preservation, storage, and provision of access to collections of artifactual value is far more costly than maintaining microfilm collections that can be economically shared.Gertz 1990, 228The information conveyed by any medium ranges along a continuum, at one end closely identified with the object's physical manifestation and at the other essentially disembodied. Every book or document, no matter how "unimportant," possesses some intrinsic (or artifactual) value in the information inherent in its physical make-up, its artistic worth, its history and associational and legal value, and its structure. All of these argue for preservation of the item in its original form, as articulated at length by NARA in 1982.Olsberg 1996, 131Though the weight given to the artifactual value of the record will vary from institution to institution, it is incumbent on all repositories, whatever their individual mandates, to acknowledge the intrinsic properties of certain records as manifestations of that architectural language.Mitchell 1996, 203Another question is that of artifactual value. Is the digital model a valuable artifact? In one respect, it could be considered to have almost no artifactual value. A digital model, even a very large one, can be replicated quickly and from a distance across a network. You may have seen the news coverage regarding an MIT student who was arrested for making software available on a network so that people could dial in and replicate it, and therefore obtain it without paying for it. Digital information is one of the few things that you can give away and still have.Schrock 1996, 207Examples of treatment include washing, deacidification, stain removal, backing removal, and relining. Only a few items receive this level of treatment, often because they are needed for exhibition, have great artifactual value, and are at risk or unusable if untreated.Lathrop 1996, 225–226The Northwest Architectural Archives does not have an advisory board to make recommendations on acquisitions or appraisal. This is primarily because, in the curator's experience, architects (who are most likely to sit on such a board) generally lack the knowledge and expertise necessary to make objective judgments about the historical, informational, and artifactual value of architectural records.Clarke 2009, 191Reformatting and reproduction present additional options, especially where a primary goal is to offer access. Reformatting or reproduction can reduce handling of original materials and prevent further damage. However, alternative formatting detracts from artifactual value, which is especially critical in the case of materials like fabric swatches, where texture and fiber are important characteristics.Radick 2013b, 512In copying out this record in another format, Mina dilutes it. This relates to the issue of the value of having the original. A copy in another format may provide many kinds of information and be more valuable than having nothing, but a higher value is usually placed on the original. This is often part of the argument made when considering preservation of materials in another format; the value of the original, its “artifactual value,” needs to be understood as the qualities that differ inherently from the information contained in a surrogate/access version.
An item may have artifactual value because it is a particularly good example of the class to which it belongs. For example, an albumen cabinet card photograph may be collected because it possesses many key characteristics of that form and is in excellent physical condition, although the subject of the photograph may be unknown. Artifactual value is a key component of intrinsic value.