There are five fundamental problems with the appraisal of architectural records; they are dispersed, widely duplicated, voluminous, transitory, and vulnerable. There is no single solution to all of these problems so it is useful to look at appraisal guidelines that have been established by other repositories and by architectural firms. The potential for legal use is one of the key considerations architectural firms use when determining the retention or disposal of their records. New problems facing appraisal decisions are the rare preparation of as-built drawings and the increased use of computer-aided design. Ultimately, it is necessary to convince architects that they need to be responsible for their own records not just for practical purposes, but for cultural reasons as well. And all firms and repositories need to balance their appraisal decisions based on space, staff, preservation costs, and users.

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