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Experiments in Deaccessioning: Archives and On-Line Auctions

Michael Doylen
The American Archivist
Vol. 64, No. 2 (Fall - Winter, 2001), pp. 350-362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40294176
Page Count: 13
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Experiments in Deaccessioning: Archives and On-Line Auctions
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Abstract

All archives accumulate duplicate or out-of-scope materials. Archivists have several options for removing such materials from their holdings: they may return them to the donor, transfer them to a more appropriate repository, destroy, or sell them. Although selling is the least practiced of these options, it has advantages. Furthermore, the proliferation and popularity of on-line auction venues make it possible for archives to sell items more quickly and at a greater profit than before. This article discusses the legal and ethical issues raised for archivists by the use of on-line auction venues in deaccessioning unwanted materials.

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