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Kathryn: I love your answer and examples. Do you mind if I use some of what you said to help justify the need for a good accessioning policy to my archives committee?
Janice – I know it’s a bit off topic. But I do believe you can find the information you mention about the Enola Gay curators at the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Anonymous: Something that has been coming up for me recently is related to Kathryn’s scenario 1. We have many “photos” that are actually photocopies or scans that have been printed onto photo paper. Many of these were received during the 60s through 90s, many years before I started working, most likely in relation to town histories that were being published. Unfortunately, whoever accepted these did not do as Kathryn has suggested, and I am currently unable to tell who gave some of these items. As I am beginning to work on a collaborative project with several other institutions, this lack of information has become increasingly frustrating. I would love to be able to track down the originals, but I have no way of doing so.
My advice is that whatever you do, keep documentation of your choices. Not only do we need to be thinking of our users, but also those in the future who will be taking over our jobs. It’s an unfortunate thought, but we won’t be here forever.