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macro appraisal

Broader Term: 

n. ~ A theory of appraisal that assesses the value of records based on the role of the record creators, placing priority on why the records were created (function), where they were created (structure), and how they were created, rather than content (informational value).

(Appraisal Methodology 2000) Essentially, macro-appraisal shifts the primary focus of appraisal from the record – including any research characteristics or values it may contain – to the functional context in which the record is created. The main appraisal questions for the archivist are no longer what has been recorded, where it is, and what research value it has. Instead, the archivist uses knowledge gained by a functional analysis of an institution, including an analysis of the interaction of function and structure, of organizational culture, of records-keeping systems, and of citizen-client involvement with the institution or function.
(Cook 2001, p. 30) The macro-appraisal model developed first to appraise the records of the Government of Canada, for example, finds sanction for archival appraisal value of determining what to keep and what to destroy, not in the dictates of the state, as traditionally, nor in following the latest trends of historical research, as more recently, but in trying to reflect society's values through a functional analysis of the interaction of citizen with the state.
(Klopfer 2001, p. 124) Based on empirical research, macro-appraisal is intended to result in an archives that documents processes and functions. If functional analysis reveals gaps or overrepresentation in what is documented, then steps can be taken, including, for the former, the collection of oral documents.