The Archival Appraisal of Slide Collections at Cornell University

  • Liz Muller Cornell University
  • Marsha Taichman Cornell University
Keywords: slides, archives, appraisal


This article discusses several case studies of the archival appraisal and acquisition of slides in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University. It attempts to elucidate the criteria for assessment and describes the outcome in each of these examples. The case studies represent a range of materials in terms of provenance and subject content, including an institutional collection of art and architecture slides, a set of glass slides documenting the northern sky which was used by the Department of Astronomy, and a faculty collection of slides relating to interior design from the College of Human Ecology.


The authors wish to thank Bonna Boettcher (Director of the Music and Fine Arts Libraries, Cornell), Dianne Dietrich (Physics and Astronomy Librarian, Cornell), and Eileen Keating (College of Human Ecology Records Manager/University Records Manager, Cornell) for their input and feedback.

Author Biographies

Liz Muller, Cornell University

Liz Muller is the Curator of Digital and Media Collections and Head of Archival Technical Services in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University. Liz’s background includes work in visual resources centers, archives, and libraries. She currently serves on the Editorial Committee for SAHARA (Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive) and is a member of the Visual Resources Association and the Society of American Archivists. She holds an AB in history from Princeton University, MA in the history of architecture from Cornell University, and MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois.

Marsha Taichman, Cornell University

Marsha Taichman is the Visual Resources and Public Services Librarian for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. Marsha has worked in galleries and museums, as well as academic and public libraries, and is a member of the Art Libraries Society of North America and the Education Committee for the Visual Resources Association. She holds a BA in English Literature and Literary Nonfiction from Hampshire College, an MA in Art History from McGill University, and an MLIS from McGill University.

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