This summer has been one of the busiest for accessioning department records, and more relevant to me, audiovisual records. Many departments on campus have used this summer to clean out closets, file cabinets, and other various nooks and crannies. It's great because the Archive is accessioning many materials we thought were lost, such as frequently requested photographs and recordings of important lectures. We have even received additional audiovisual machines to use or to harvest for parts!
However, during large closet clean-outs, non-archival materials, such as non-CUA mass-produced educational films, widely held on WorldCat, make frequent appearances. I was able to save three feet of space by appraising two accessions from one department that were films of this variety. After making sure that the material was widely held and offering this material back to the department, the films were given to a department on campus that could use the films as an instructional aid, not for the content, but the format. An additional two feet of space was saved by not accessioning non-CUA publications not pertinent to the department records.
Through appraisal, an archive can save shelf space and make sure the materials in the archive hold significance to the archive's research community.