PPM 70-830 Archives - De-Accession on www.olc.edu

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                                                                                                      BOT 02-25-04

                                         ARCHIVES - DE-ACCESSION (POLICY)

     Evaluation of Materials

     Before the disposition of archival materials, the following questions will be considered by the OLC

         1.  Does the material fall within the scope of current collecting policies?  How does it relate to the
             current mission policy?

         2.  Is the material a duplicate or does it duplicate information already held in the collections in
             another format?

         3.  Has the material deteriorated beyond usefulness?

         4.  Does the Archives have a Deed of Gift or documentation that proves clear title to the material?

         5.  Do any externally imposed restrictions, such as donor agreements, apply to the material?

         6.  How would de-accessioning the material affect public access to information and historical research?

         7.  How accessible is the material?  Are funds available for processing and preservation?

         8.  What is the relationship of the material to other archival records, both internally and externally?

     Disposition of Materials

     In practice, material to be de-accessioned may be transferred to other repositories, returned to the owner,
     or be destroyed.  Any such disposition of material with substantial research or financial value will be
     governed by the following considerations:

         1.  Materials must be free of all legal obstacles.  No materials will be de-accessioned when a written
             agreement between the donor and the OLC Archives that contradicts such action exists.  A reasonable
             attempt will be made to consult donors when materials are considered for de-accessioning.

         2.  The method of disposition will be determined by the OLC Archivist or jointly by appropriate staff:
             the OLC Archivist, Learning Resource Center (LRC) Director, and the LRC Assistant Director.

         3.  Prior to any de-accession action taken, the OLC Archivist will fill out the De-accession Form.  Once
             completed this form must be reviewed and approved by the LRC Director and the OLC President.
             Additional documentation regarding the destruction, transfer or return of the items will be produced
             and made available by the OLC Archivist.

     Types of De-accessioning

     Once it has been determined that the materials are to be disposed of, three methods of de-accessioning
     materials may be used.

         1.  Destruction.  Outright destruction is a suitable method of disposition for materials that have been
             reappraised and determined not to have any merit for continued preservation.

         2.  Transfer.  Materials that have been evaluated and identified to be out of the mission of the OLC
             Archives and would be better served at another repository shall be made available to that repository
             for transfer of ownership if the OLC Archives has clear title to the materials.  The repository
             receiving the collection will pay all expenses involved in shipping and sign a release form in which
             they assume ownership of the material.  The receiving institution may also be required, at the OLC
             Archives' request, to issue a press release concerning the transfer of the collection and identify
             the OLC Archives as the donor.

         3.  Return to owner.  Materials may be returned to the legal owner if they have requested the return of
             their materials and OLC Archives ownership of the collection cannot be clearly established.

     Other Considerations

     Other factors need to be considered during the de-accessioning process and apply to both the donor and the

         1.  Donors and records creators should be informed that factors such as a change in mission, new
             accessions, and financial responsibilities may preclude the perpetual preservation of a collection
             and that these changes may compel the OLC Archives to dispose of materials that had been acquired
             earlier.  Donors will be made aware of these necessary activities by the Collection Policy which
             clearly states that the OLC Archives may dispose of parts or the entire collection based upon these

         2.  Although appraisal and de-accessioning are needed tools for refining collections, their importance
             can be reduced by keeping selection policies current and by applying sound appraisal standards.

         3.  The reformatting of materials - e.g., digitization - does not in and of itself constitute a reason
             to de-accession the materials in their original formats.

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