The U. S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science Center has the responsibility to acquire, manage, and preserve our Nation's land observations. These records are obtained primarily from airplanes and satellites dating back to the 1930s. The ability to compare landscapes from the past with current information enables change analysis at local and global scales. With new observations added daily, the records management challenges are daunting, involving petabytes of electronic data and tens of thousands of rolls of analog film. This paper focuses upon the appraisal and preservation functions employed to ensure that these records are available for current and future generations.