n.the usefulness or significance of materials based on its relationship to an individual, family, organization, place, or eventHackbart-Dean and Montgomery 1998, 82Condition will be largely irrelevant, however, when the collection or item in question has significant historical, artifactual, or associational value. For example, a barely legible state constitution or a newly discovered Ernest Hemingway manuscript will be desirable regardless of condition.Nichols and Smith 2001, viThe task force looked at traditional criteria used in selecting for preservation—age, rarity, associational value, evidentiary value—and found these criteria still valid. Because artifacts of evidentiary value often have little market value and are found in multiple copies, decisions about their treatment and retention are often contested; for this reason, the task force focused chiefly on these items. Artifactual collections that are paper-based or audiovisual have evidentiary value to the extent that the original manifestation can attest to the originality, faithfulness (or authenticity), fixity, and stability of the content.Hedstrom et al. 2006, 162–163Factors such as age, evidential value, aesthetic value, scarcity, associational value, market value, and exhibition value help archivists, librarians, and curators decide when to preserve materials in their original form rather than, or in addition to, reformatting them.Harvey and Mahard 2014, 48Associational value may be added when a lock of the subject’s hair is found to have been preserved in the case, or when we are able to determine a photographer’s name or location.Patrick-Burns 2015, 57Best practice for preservationists has already identified certain qualities that merit preservation of the original: age, evidential value, aesthetic value, scarcity, associational value, market value, and exhibition value.
Associational value may be based on ownership, creation, or the subject matter of the material. It is a key component of intrinsic value.