secondary value

n. the usefulness or significance of records based on purposes other than that for which they were originally created


Traditionally, archivists have divided secondary value into two broad categories: informational value and evidential value. However, within these two categories, archivists have identified many other types of value as well.


Ham 1993, 7[Secondary values] 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. 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.