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Abstract

Often the thrill of adventure and discovery propels archivists to pursue collections. While out in the field, few would pass up the opportunity to acquire an interesting collection that would enhance a repository's holdings or disregard an exciting find such as a love letter from a United States president or a personal diary. Sometimes, however, the excitement of discovery overshadows the daunting task of caring for these collections after they have been acquired. Regardless of the manner in which archival materials are acquired by a repository-whether by law, institutional mandate, purchase, or gift-it is important to evaluate the condition and preservation requirements of potential acquisitions, in addition to archival appraisal factors such as historical significance, legal and evidential values, informational content, and scarcity of other documentation.

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