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ARSCLIB  March 2017

ARSCLIB March 2017

Subject:

Re: value of archival media collections

From:

Hugh Paterson III <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 22:51:09 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (120 lines)

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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