Individuals and organizations often keep three-dimensional material in addition to the texts and images they create. These items usually directly or indirectly pertain to the life and/or work of the creator. Examples include a commemorative medal for a special achievement, sculpture or decorative arts, and distinctly personal items such as locks of hair, jewelry, buttons, articles of clothing, wallets, etc.
Often objects have exhibition and illustrative value, and occasionally research value. On the other hand, organic material such as dried flowers can usually be discarded. Archivists should consult with the appropriate curator about objects found within a collection to determine their context and significance.