Glossary search

informational value

Broader Term: 

(also reference value and research value), n. ~ The usefulness or significance of materials based on their content, independent of any intrinsic or evidential1 value.


Census records have informational value to genealogists long after those records' evidential value as an enumeration of the population for the federal government has passed.

(Adkins 1997, p. 20) In a corporate environment it is much more important to appraise records for their informational value than for their evidential value. My experience at Kraft and Ford shows that executives and employees tend to request bits and pieces of information from our records, not records that provide evidence of how business has been conducted over the years.
(Dollar 1991, p. 45) A growing number of archivists are now urging that archival appraisal return to basics and pay more attention to the documentation of program accountability, which suggests that the informational value of information application systems may be eclipsed by their evidential value.
(Schellenberg 1984, p. 58) The secondary value of records can be ascertained most easily if they are considered in relation to two kinds of matters: 1) the evidence they contain of the organization and functions of the Government body that produced them, and 2) the information they contain on persons, corporate bodies, things, problems, conditions, and the like, with which the Government body dealt. . . . ¶ The values that attach to records because of the information they contain will be referred to as 'informational values.' The information may relate, in a general way, either to persons, or things, or phenomena. The term 'persons' may include either individuals or corporate bodies. The term 'things' may include places, buildings, physical objects, and material things. The term 'phenomena' relates to what happens to either persons or things – to conditions, problems, activities, programs, events, episodes, and the like. ¶ It should be emphasized that the distinction between evidential and informational values is made solely for purposes of discussion. The two types of values are not mutually exclusive.