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ARSCLIB  March 2017

ARSCLIB March 2017

Subject:

Re: value of archival media collections

From:

"Ramsey, Allen" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

ARSC Library and Archives Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:16:15 +0000

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I realize I am fairly new to this list but wanted to add my two cents about making sure that you factor in the long term costs of digital preservation of the recordings, storage costs, distributed geographical backups which is different than digital preservation, etc. In the past here at the State Archives in the Connecticut State Library we have calculated a per box cost for insurance purposes but we have always been unsure if that is the best way to do it and to hire an appraiser to go through our entire collection is not an option due to the high costs. We've had select pieces appraised by an appraiser.

Allen

Allen Ramsey | Assistant State Archivist | [log in to unmask]
Office: (860) 566-1100 ext. 302 (Van Block) (860) 757-6512 (Main Library)
http://www.ctstatelibrary.org | 231 Capitol Ave. Hartford CT 06106 | Fax: (860) 757-6542


-----Original Message-----
From: ARSC Library and Archives Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hugh Paterson III
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: value of archival media collections

My thought was in line with Arron's last proposal.

Let's assume that it costs an estimated $10,000 USD to send a researcher out to create another recording. Then is it cheaper for the institution to "self-insure" or to "buy insurance" for these collections. If the value of the item is high enough then the obvious choice would be to "self insure"
via digitization. When the university realizes that it can save money via a digitization program then you might find funding from that budget for digitization.

- Hugh

On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 10:36 PM, Bittel, Aaron M < [log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Melissa,
>
> When my colleagues and I have raised this question on our campus,
> we've also been given the suggestion of a set dollar amount per item,
> based on the replacement cost of the carrier. Of course, replacing
> unique recordings with blank legacy media sort of misses the point!
>
> An alternative idea I've been playing with lately is to try to
> estimate what it would cost to recreate the content of the recordings
> -- or rather, something analogous to the original content of the
> recordings, since an actual recreation is often not possible (people
> have died, situations have changed, etc.). So, if a particular
> collection is the result of a year of fieldwork, what would it cost to
> send another researcher to that location for a year, make the
> appropriate arrangements and create a similar set of recordings? But
> figuring out what that cost would be for a large number of field
> collections from a variety of places could quickly turn into a major
> task, so one solution might be to try to boil it down to the average
> cost per week/month/year of fieldwork.
>
> I realize this is less helpful if your content is mainly oral
> histories that didn't require significant expense to create, and that
> it somewhat arbitrarily assigns more value to recordings made far away
> or under difficult or costly circumstances, than to those made closer
> to home. But it is one way to try to capture the replacement value of
> the content, rather than the carrier.
>
> However, I should emphasize that I haven't actually tested this idea
> yet with the insurance folks. In fact, it was mainly intended as a
> way to provide a meaningful response to the folks in Development the
> next time they ask what that newly-donated field collection is
> "worth."
>
> I wonder (and I'm musing here -- maybe someone who's thought more
> about this can chime in) if another way to assess financial value in
> unique recordings might be in terms of what it would cost to create
> and maintain the appropriate number of (geographically distributed)
> digital surrogate backups. The logic here is that if a disaster were
> to destroy your original recordings, a prior investment of $X would
> assure a reasonable chance that you'd be able to replace the content
> with an exact duplicate. Not that getting the money to digitize and
> store the recordings is going to be of any use *after* the
> flood/fire/earthquake has taken its toll!
>
> Best,
> Aaron
>
> --
> Aaron M. Bittel
> Archivist-Librarian/Digital Projects
> UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive
>
>
>
> On Tue, 2017-03-14 at 10:24 -0400, Melissa Hernandez Duran wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > Our university Risk Management office is asking us to provide a
> > value amount for unique archival recordings in our collections
> > (several
> thousands
> > of them) for insurance purposes. They have suggested we think about
> > how much it would cost to replace these items if they were lost or damaged.
> > Because they are mostly unique/ unpublished material these are
> > irreplaceable. Another suggestion was to apply a set dollar amount
> > per
> item
> > for everything in the collection. Does anyone have experience or
> > suggestions on assigning monetary value to archival media collections?
> >
> > Best,
>
> On Tue, 2017-03-14 at 10:24 -0400, Melissa Hernandez Duran wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > Our university Risk Management office is asking us to provide a
> > value amount for unique archival recordings in our collections
> > (several
> thousands
> > of them) for insurance purposes. They have suggested we think about
> > how much it would cost to replace these items if they were lost or damaged.
> > Because they are mostly unique/ unpublished material these are
> > irreplaceable. Another suggestion was to apply a set dollar amount
> > per
> item
> > for everything in the collection. Does anyone have experience or
> > suggestions on assigning monetary value to archival media collections?
> >
> > Best,
>

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