Artist’s Legacy Toolkit: Identify

What Gets Archived?

Not everything in your files needs to become part of your archive. However, some items you might not think you want to keep could be fascinating and important to researchers.

What should you be looking for? Most of your files will fall into the content categories as shown in the tool below. If you are just now developing a system, these categories can help you separate your files. If you are later in your career, see if you can locate these types of records in your files. Are you missing any documentation?

A helpful guide to getting started can be found in Mike Ashenfelder’s article Your Personal Archiving Project: Where Do You Start?

→ See Legacy Tool #1: Record Identification Chart

These materials may be in a variety of formats that require different storage situations. Use this tool to see what formats are in your collection and continue on to the Preserve section to view how best to care for different formats.

→ See Legacy Tool #2: Archival Formats 

Artist's Legacy Toolkit: Identify

Choose What YOU Want to Save

Ask yourself the following questions when deciding what is important for your archive: (Note: a positive answer indicates the need to save the materials)

  • Would loss of the item decrease understanding of your work, company, or organization?
  • Could the item be of interest to a researcher or beneficial to future generations?
  • Is the item unique, or does it help bring context to another item in your archive?
  • Is the item in usable condition?
  • Are these records that protect the legal rights of stakeholders in your organization?
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