n.the usefulness or significance of records based on the purposes for which they were originally createdBrichford 1977, 4Schellenberg noted that the archivist is especially concerned with the evidential and informational, or secondary, values of records, as distinguished from primary values for the originating agency.Raymond and O’Toole 1978, 24Archival records acquire their primary value in relation to the administrative activity of which they are the product, said Norton. Any subject value they might have is entirely incidental to that purpose.Jones 1980, 43Their primary value, therefore, is to the department or office that created or received them and that is legally responsible for them.Schellenberg 1984, 58The values that inhere in modern public records are of two kinds: primary values for the originating agency itself and secondary value for other agencies and private users. Public records are created to accomplish the purposes for which an agency has been created—administrative, fiscal, legal, and operating. But public records are preserved in an archival institution because they have value that will exist long after they cease to be of current use, and because their values will be for others than the current users.Kolsrud 1992, 35To the value criteria of Brooks from 1940 the English added that it had to be the administrative body’s own business to decide which documents were of importance for efficient administration. This is what Schellenberg recognized in the mid-1950s as the primary value of records. He joined the English view that this was of a brief and ephemeral nature, and should be left to the administrator’s judgement.Ham 1993, 7Primary values are ephemeral. Though a few records may have long-term or even permanent primary value, most of these values expire when the activity or action that resulted in the record’s creation is completed. For example, when a political campaign has run its course, when there is a satisfactory settlement of a will in a probate court, or when the seven years of risk of an IRS audit have passed, the primary value of the records ends. For the archivist, primary values usually are of secondary importance.Schellenberg 1996, 16Public archives, then, have two types of values: the primary values to the originating agency and the secondary values to other agencies and to non-government users.Livelton 1996, 78Though somewhat ambiguous at times, “primary” for Schellenberg generally means “first in time,” referring to the values documents have for the creator in carrying out his everyday business. Primary values therefore include such things as administrative, operational, fiscal, and legal values.Boles 2005, 11He defined values as being those uses for which the records were originally created. Schellenberg identified three criteria by which an archivist could determine if a document retained primary value. These he called legal, fiscal, administrative values.
Primary values include administrative, fiscal, legal, and operational value. These values relate to the usefulness or significance to the creator as regards managing ongoing, day-to-day programmatic and housekeeping activities, tracking finances and budgets, and protecting legal interests. The records that result from these activities can demonstrate accomplishments, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and rights and interests.