n.the process of identifying materials that no longer merit inclusion in an archives and that are candidates for deaccessioningRapport 1981, 146Since what we destroy we cannot retrieve, accessioned records that fail reappraisal deserve safeguards. There might be a staff review panel to consider reappraised records that seem to deserve a last look before they disappear forever. Such a panel might want to question the reappraiser and his reappraisal. There might be some sort of public defender of reappraised records, an ombudsman, who could, if it seemed necessary, check the facts and reasoning of the reappraisal by going to the records themselves. The panel could consider any protests or comments from staff members or interested outsiders.Benedict 1984, 45Rapport’s argument is most persuasive when he speaks of scheduling reappraisal in order to find those materials that were wrongly accessioned in the first place—those without archival value.Powell 1991, 104While the bulk of modern records and storage problems in our archives are inescapable facts of archival life in the 1990s, reappraisal is, in the first instance, an appraisal issue, not a custodial or reference issue. Most archivists are aware that no appraisal decision is perfect. Reappraisal is necessary, therefore, when the original appraisal decision has been discovered to be incorrect or incomplete. Reappraisal of an archival fonds, or a body of records scheduled for archival acquisition, should also be considered when the archives becomes aware of the existence of records which constitute a more valuable source of documentation for the same activities documented by the accessioned or scheduled records.Powell 1991, 104In effect, a reappraisal should take the form of a new appraisal, using knowledge gained since the original appraisal and using appraisal criteria based on sound appraisal theory.Greene 2002, 34The definition of reappraisal is easy—it means to appraise again. This is a bit misleading, however, because what we call reappraisal is often more accurately “appraisal.” The fact that certain materials are in our collections does not guarantee that they were subject to meaningful appraisal when they were first acquired. Most simply, reappraisal is the application of collecting and appraisal criteria to materials already in the repository.Boles 2005, 117Archivists who engage in reappraisal and deaccessioning should do so with several caveats clearly in mind. Reappraisal is not a crisis management tool.Greene 2006, 8First and most importantly, reappraisal and deaccessioning are not synonyms, though they are sometimes treated as such. Reappraisal may lead to deaccessioning, but it may not. And deaccessioning will often result from reappraisal, but may be driven by other forces instead.Schmidt and Law 2009, 56Deciding to engage in a reappraisal project begins with an evaluation of costs and benefits. Many archivists are cautious about such enterprises because of the time and effort they perceive them to take. While it is true that reappraisal cannot be done without allotting some staff time and resources, the reality is that it is a longue durée process, and not as intensive as is often perceived.Schmidt and Law 2009, 61Reappraisal, fundamentally, is a professional reengagement with archival holdings, regardless of whether or not any materials are de-accessioned.Buehn 2013, 2An effective method for managing the backlog is reappraisal, sometimes followed by deaccessioning.Buehn 2013, 10The first step to preparing for deaccessioning is reappraisal, which determines if the materials fit into the repository’s collecting policy.Buehn 2013, 17During reappraisal, each collection should be considered on its own merits, but also in relation to the facility’s entire holdings because collections have their own history in relation to one another.SAA 2017b, 11The reappraisal process is systematic, nuanced, and time-consuming. Reappraisal can result in adding administrative information often missing in collection files. Reappraisal is due diligence for neglected collections and record series.
A repository may reappraise holdings because the original appraisal was faulty, the repository’s collecting policy has changed, or the perceived value of the material has changed over time.