Dissertation Information for Kimberly Doris Anderson
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Appraisal Learning Networks: How University Archivists Learn to Appraise Through Social Interaction
Abstract: The appraisal of archival materials for ongoing value is one of the core responsibilities of the archivist, yet empirical research on how archivists learn to appraise is absent from the field. The purpose of this study is to understand how and when archivists learn to appraise and to devise a methodology for further studies in archival learning and knowledge transmission. It was hypothesized that the appraisal learning (continuing and formal) structures of university archivists can be understood as a network of relationships that demonstrates lineages of ideas and influences . The study employed an iterative process in which exploratory research and feedback from the population studied were used to devise the study's instrumentations: survey, bibliometric analysis, interviews, and network mapping. While archivists are engaged in a network of relationships, it was found that appraisal learning is cumulative, but not necessarily comparative. The method was largely successful, but had problems due to the difficulty of isolating appraisal learning as a phenomenon. This research can inform educational programs, produce empirical data about appraisal practices, and contribute to a genealogy of the field.
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