The purpose of the archival appraisal has gradually changed from the selection of records to the documentation of the society. In particular, the qualitative and quantitative developments of the current digital technology and web have become the driving force that enables semantic acquisition, rather than physical one. Under these circumstances, the concept of ‘documentary heritage’ has been re-established internationally, led by UNESCO.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) reflects this trend. LAC has been trying to develop a new appraisal model and an acquisition model at the same time to revive the spirit of total archives, which is the ‘Whole-of-society approach’. Features of this approach can be summarized in three main points. First, it is for documentary heritage and the acquisition refers to semantic acquisition, not the physical one. And because the object of management is documentary heritage, the cooperation between documentary heritage institutions has to be a prerequisite condition. Lastly, it cannot only documenting what already happened, it can documenting what is happening in the current society.
‘Whole-of-society approach’, as an appraisal method, is a way to identify social components based on social theories. The approach, as an acquisition method, is targeting digital recording, which includes ‘digitized’ heritage and ‘born-digital’ heritage. And it makes possible to the semantic acquisition of documentary heritage based on the data linking by mapping identified social components as metadata component and establishing them into linked open data.
This study pointed out that it is hard to realize documentation of the society based on domestic appraisal system since the purpose is limited to selection. To overcome this limitation, we suggest a guideline applied with ‘Whole-of-society approach’.