Acquisition, Appraisal, and Accessioning

Instructor: the CNSA’s Archives Advisor

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Course Description

Participants will be guided through the three archival functions of acquisition, appraisal, and accessioning. The acquisition process involves choosing appropriate materials to be housed at the archives and accepting them into custody. Accessioning is the official legal acceptance of those records. Once they have been accepted, they can be processed in the institution and only the most valuable records need to be kept – this is appraisal. This course will teach participants how to evaluate material for inclusion in archival collections and the practical steps required for acceptance of material. Topics covered will include requirements of policy and practice as well as options for a variety of archival scenarios.

This course is part of the CNSA Archival Certificate Program.

Learning Method

This course is taught online across four half-day sessions. Learning is done through a combination of lecture, personal reading, and practical exercises.


Introduction to Archives or experience working in an archive.


Registration is open to anyone although preference is given to CNSA Members. Staff and/or volunteers at CNSA member organizations, which are in good standing, can register at the discounted rate. Multiple staff/volunteers from a member organization may be eligible for a group discount. Please contact our Archives Advisor for details.

Members are eligible for a travel subsidy if this course is offered in person. Click here for Expense Claim Form for travel subsidy.

Reading (provided)

Archives Association of British Columbia, A Manual for Small Archives, Chapter 3: