The field of history has changed a great deal since Theodore Schellenberg wrote The Appraisal of Modern Public Records in 1956. Although trends in social history, Afro-American history, and women's history have suggested new subjects, themes, and periodization for historians during the last twenty years, archivists at the National Archives and Records Administration continue to rely primarily on Schellenberg's guidance in their appraisal of the records of the federal government. The author investigates the criteria used in making appraisal decisions at NARA, looks at some examples of appraisals that considered the new trends in history to greater and lesser extents, and concludes that NARA must take a proactive position on this issue to ensure that tomorrow's archival collection is a well-considered and useful one.

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