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Minnesota method

n. ~ An strategy for appraising materials that combines aspects of collection analysis, documentation strategy, appraisal, and functional analysis.


See Mark A. Greene and Todd J. Daniels-Howell, "Documentation with 'An Attitude': A Pragmatist's Guide to the Selection and Acquisition of Modern Business Records" in James M. O'Toole, ed., The Records of American Business (Society of American Archivists, 1997).

(Jimerson 1998) The 'Minnesota Method' [Mark A. Greene and Todd J. Daniels-Howell] developed is based on the assumption that 'all archival appraisal is local and subjective', but that, through careful analysis of both records creators and the records themselves, archivists can establish appraisal and selection criteria that are 'rational and efficient relative to a specific repository's goals and resources'. The strategy they propose includes: defining a collecting area; analyzing existing collections; determining the documentary universe, including relevant government records, printed and other sources; prioritizing industrial sectors, individual businesses, geographic regions, and time periods from which records will be sought; defining functions performed by businesses and the collecting levels needed to document major functions; connecting documentary levels to priority tiers; and updating this process every three to seven years. They outline priority factors used in making these decisions, documentation levels, and decision points to refine the priority levels. This Minnesota Method combines features of archival approaches to collection analysis, documentation strategy, appraisal, and functional analysis.

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