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n. ~ 1. The amount something might bring if offered for sale; market value; monetary value; fiscal value. - 2. Records · The usefulness, significance, or worth of something to an individual or organization. - 3. Computing, Mathematics · The information assigned to a record, field, or variable; data value. - 4. The relative brightness of an image; tonal value; see tonal range.

(Stephens and Wallace 2001, p. 6) The records appraisal concept holds that the retention value2 of business records must be established based on identifying the primary and secondary values the records possess, and then making judgments as to when, if ever, these values expire or decline to the point where disposal of the information can be contemplated. Primary values are those reflecting the basic business purpose(s) served by the records, the reason they were created. Secondary values reflect other uses to which the information may be put during the course of their life cycle, uses that may justify continuing retention after the expiration of primary values. Administrative or operational values are usually identified as primary values. Research or historical values are generally designated as secondary values. Legal value can be either a primary or a secondary value, depending on the purpose and function of a record. A records series can (and usually does) possess several of these values simultaneously, and they may change during a record's life cycle.

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology