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Appraising the Papers of State Legislators

Paul I. Chestnut
The American Archivist
Vol. 48, No. 2 (Spring, 1985), pp. 159-172
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40292742
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Appraising the Papers of State Legislators
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Abstract

Many state archival agencies have done little to appraise and preserve office files created by state legislators, and few private repositories have collected these papers on a systematic or comprehensive basis. Professional literature that could provide guidance, either by example or by prescription, for the disposition of these files, is virtually nonexistent. This article attempts to take a first step to remedy that situation by identifying the kinds of papers most likely to appear in legislators' files, discussing the conditions of their creation and official use, and suggesting their possible usefulness to a variety of potential researchers. Rather than finding a model or a list of ready-made appraisal decisions, however, readers are asked to consider various alternatives and to draw their own conclusions based on the needs of individual repositories with their own collecting policies and obligations to parent agencies or user constituencies.

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