3.1 Scope and Content (Required)

Purpose and Scope

This element provides information about the nature of the materials and activities reflected in the unit being described to enable users to judge its potential relevance. The Scope and Content Element may include information about any or all of the following, as appropriate:

  • The function(s), activity(ies), transaction(s), and process(es) that generated the materials being described
  • The documentary form(s) or intellectual characteristics of the records being described (e.g., minutes, diaries, reports, watercolors, documentaries)
  • The content dates, that is, the time period(s) covered by the intellectual content or subject of the unit being described
  • Geographic area(s) and places to which the records pertain
  • Subject matter to which the records pertain, such as topics, events, people, and organizations
  • Any other information that assists the user in evaluating the relevance of the materials, such as completeness, changes in location, ownership and custody while still in the possession of the creator, and so on

No attempt has been made to distinguish between what constitutes scope and what constitutes content; scope and content are treated as a single element, and the following rules simply enumerate the types of information that could be included in this element. Repositories should establish institutional policies and guidelines for consistent practice regarding the level of detail to be recorded in the scope and content statement. This element is a good source for the access points discussed in the Overview of Archival Description.

Commentary: A brief summary of the scope and content and biographical information may be combined in an abstract for presentation purposes to enhance resource discovery. Such an abstract does not serve as a substitute for the Scope and Content Element.


3.1.1 Record information about the context in which the unit being described was created, used, and so on, in the Administrative/Biographical History Element (see Chapter 2.7).

3.1.2 Record information about gaps in the unit being described resulting from archival appraisal decisions in the Appraisal, Destruction, and Scheduling Information Element (5.3).

Sources of Information

3.1.3 Derive the information from the materials themselves and any relevant documentation.

General Rules

3.1.4 Record information of the types listed in the statement of purpose and scope above appropriate to the unit being described.

This collection documents the activities of Willis H. Warner, who was a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors for 24 years, including the activities of the Board of Supervisors and numerous Orange County governmental units from the 1930s through the 1960s. It also contains personal materials, including the records of Warner's business, the Warner Hardware Store (Huntington Beach, California), and materials documenting his prolific career in the public sector working for the Westminster Drainage District, the Beach Protective Association of Huntington Beach, and other Orange County public institutions and political organizations. Some of the significant topics represented in these files are airport development; environmental issues such as air and water pollution, beach erosion, and shoreline development (including reports by consulting engineer R. L. Patterson); civil defense; county finances; employment; fire programs; land use and planning; freeway and highway development; county buildings; correctional facilities; parks and recreation; oil drilling; public health and hospitals, particularly the Orange County General Hospital; publicity and tourism; schools and school districts; and welfare and public works programs. The collection also documents Warner's public service before joining the Board of Supervisors, particularly the financial and legal activities of the Westminster Drainage District, accumulated while he was working as its secretary; his active participation in the commercial development of Huntington Beach and nearby communities; his work on the board of trustees for Huntington Beach Union High School; and his involvement with the Beach Protective Association of Huntington Beach, which sought to prevent oil drilling in the area. Materials are largely textual, comprising correspondence, memoranda, minutes and agendas, financial and legal material, clippings, publications, blueprints, maps, and related printed matter. Among other formats scattered throughout the collection are photographs, a small number of negatives, and artifacts such as plaques, ephemera, and campaign paraphernalia.

Scope and content for the Willis H. Warner papers

Series comprises primarily letters to or from the secretary-treasurer of the North Carolina Folklore Society and the editor of North Carolina Folklore. Arthur Palmer Hudson and Daniel W. Patterson were secretary-treasurers until 1966; most of the early correspondence is to or from one of them and concerns subscriptions, dues, and annual meetings (especially the 1964 meeting). Most of the later correspondence is directed to Richard Walser as editor of North Carolina Folklore. Included as an attachment is a story dictated by North Carolina Governor Robert W. Scott in 1970, "The Governor Fowles Ghost Story."

Scope and content for a series in the North Carolina Folklore Society records

File includes primarily correspondence, data and analysis, notes, and daily reports from East Rand Proprietary Mine (ERPM). Notebook II is primarily dictaphone transcriptions of daily reports.

Scope and content for a file in the Frederick Reines papers

Plat map depicting town plaza and perimeter, including mission church and courtyard, adobe walls, some roads, orchards, vineyards, and cemetery. Scale is listed as 3 chains to 1 inch.

Scope and content for an item in the Richard Egan Manuscript Maps of Orange County

Letter presented by 21 Oneida Indians, signed with their marks, requesting that Jasper Parrish pay them the amount they are owed for serving in the War of 1812. They state that they are aware that he received the money three months previously and they are anxious to settle the account.

Scope and content for the Oneida Nation petition to Jasper Parrish

The 70 websites captured by the web-crawl reflect a broad and in-depth coverage of the Shepard murder, memorials, and efforts that address inequalities based on gender and sexual orientation. These include sites such as the Westboro Baptist Church that protested at the University of Wyoming following Shepard's death and condemns homosexuality. There are also blogs written by friends, family, reporters, and people who did not know Shepard. Also included are sites of organizations related to Matthew Shepard and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues. Additionally, the websites of films, books, and music about Shepard's life and his murder were included in the website harvest. Finally, media coverage that only existed on the Internet was included.

Scope and content for the Matthew Shepard web archive

3.1.5 When the unit being described is known to be incomplete due to reasons other than archival appraisal decisions, record information about the gaps.

The collection consists of one box containing 17 spiral-bound books of photocopies of handwritten notes by Christopher Small; gaps in the numbering of the books indicate that some volumes may be missing.

Scope and content for the Christopher Small Collection

Files are incomplete, because many items of significant commercial value were sold piecemeal in the 1980s and some files from later years are held by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, which took over the Dent firm in 1986.

Scope and content for a series in J. M. Dent & Sons records

3.1.6 Where the material includes a uniform set of documents (e.g., marriage certificates), indicate the kinds of information recorded in the documents.

Investigative files include correspondence, witness interviews, autopsy reports, and lab test reports; official court records include deposition transcripts, pleading books, transcripts of trial testimony, and "discovery" material; court exhibit files contain "scene evidence" collected by the police at the murder scene and copies of investigation reports from the FBI, the BATF, and the Greensboro Police Department.

Collection-level scope and content from the Greensboro Civil Rights Fund records

Court exhibit files contain copies of reports, maps, photographs, and investigation notes from the FBI, the BATF, and the Greensboro Police Department. Physical evidence includes "scene evidence" picked up by police at the murder scene on 3 November, including CWP banners, bloodstained clothing removed from the bodies of victims, shotgun pellets removed from the victims, and a Klan effigy utilized by the demonstrators. Some additional physical evidence (e.g., a guitar shattered by shotgun pellets) was returned to the plaintiffs.

Series-level scope and content from the Greensboro Civil Rights Fund records

3.1.7 If the material being described is a reproduction, indicate that fact, and if considered important, also indicate the date of reproduction.

File contains reproductions of original plats made circa 1960-circa 1980. These plat maps depict the following ranchos and communities: San Jose de Buenos Ayres, La Cienegas, La Brea, Cahuenga Tract, San Antonio (or Rodeo de Las Aquas), San Vicente y Santa Monica, Los Felis, and Cuati.

Scope and content for a file in the Collection of Orange County and California maps

Pictures are of William Gaston (reproduction of engraving from painting and photograph of painting), Zebulon Baird Vance (reproduction of engraving), William A. Graham (reproduction of engraving), Willie Person Mangum (reproduction of engraving), John Motley Morehead (reproduction of engraving), and John Louis Taylor (carte-de-visite).

Scope and content for a series in William Gaston papers