Archivists have for many years expressed concern about appraising records that may be duplicated, in one form or another, at more than one level of government. To illustrate some of these problems and concerns, social service records were selected as the focus of this article, although the topic could just as easily have been labor records, highway records, or the records of any other function under the jurisdiction of more than one level of government. This analysis will answer two questions central to the appraisal of social service case files. First, is the information contained in case files statistically summarized elsewhere, either in state or local welfare department records? Second, if so, are there other valid reasons for preserving the case files?