n.the usefulness or significance of records based on purposes other than that for which they were originally createdJones 1980, 43–44Deeds, for instance, are initially recorded to protect landowners, and wills are recorded to assure the proper settlement of estates. For succeeding generations, however, these records take on secondary values: They may be used for the tracing of land titles and family lines, for finding one’s ancestral home, for determining the price of land, and for a variety of other informational purposes.Kolsrud 1992, 35Records achieve their secondary value through their importance to research.Ham 1993, 7–8Secondary values. These are values that some records have because of the uses, often unforeseen, to which they can be put by individuals other than those for whom the records were originally created. For instance, the primary value of probate court records is to govern the distribution of a deceased person’s property, but these records are also invaluable to historians studying family wealth or tastes and genealogists nourishing a family tree. The secondary values of a record are long lasting and are the main concern of the archival appraiser.Schellenberg 1996, 133While defining what I mean by public records, I indicated that such records have two kinds of values: primary values for the originating agency itself and secondary values for other agencies and private users.Livelton 1996, 79These inherent secondary values may have been less evident when Schellenberg wrote in 1956 than they are today. Now that access to information laws acknowledge the right of citizens to consult certain documents still in use by administrators, we are beginning to witness in practice the exploitation of secondary values that exist whether or not the documents are routinely open to inspection.Stephens and Wallace 2001, 6Research or historical values are generally designated as secondary values. Legal value can be either a primary or a secondary value, depending on the purpose and function of a record.Boles 2005, 12Secondary values, all the other purposes to which the record could be put, were the concern of the archivist. ¶ In defining secondary values, Schellenberg again created two broad categories: “evidential” and “informational” values.Bailey 2013, 8This initial era subsequently gave way to a second, more active and records management–oriented era in which archival records were identified through an archivist’s explicit determination of secondary values and possible uses.
Beginning with Theodore Schellenberg, archivists have divided secondary value into two broad categories of value, informational and evidential. However, within these two categories, archivists have identified many other types of value.