Billy Graham Center
INFORMATION ABOUT GUIDES TO ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS
Archival guides are created to give you, the user, a
comprehensive idea of what is available in the collection. The guides describe the physical contents (i.e., folders of letters, audio tapes, films, photographs, etc.) and the subject contents of those materials. The guide does not and cannot describe all that is documented in a collection, and is intended only as an entry point for identifying actual materials in the collection to be used.
Each guide consists of a number of standard features, which are titled as follows. Click on the boldfaced title to see a sample of the corresponding element.
MAIN ENTRY: Brief abstract of the collection,
identifying primary physical forms making up the collection and the subjects documented by those materials.
TITLE & RESTRICTION PAGE: Identifies creator of the
collection, volume and date span of the materials, date of
most recent version of the guide, and whether there are any restrictions on the use of the collection.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Outline of
significant historical events in the life of the person or
institution which created or is the focus of the collection, in order for the user to understand the context in which the person or institution worked and created the records.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: Narrative description of the
collection, highlighting types of documents and the subjects documented. In an oral history guide, the description consists of a short paragraph highlighting the topics covered in the interview; in the case of older oral history interview, this section summarizes by time segments the topics discussed by the interviewee. This section concludes with information which identifies the source from which the Archives received the materials.
ADDENDUM (not used with most guides): lists which
contribute significantly to an understanding of the
collection, primarily lists of significant administrators and staff, or events such as crusades.
LOCATION RECORDS: Identifies those materials, which
because of their physical form, are stored separately, while remaining an integral part of the collection. Among these are: artifacts, audio tapes, books (and pamphlets and tracts), films, filmstrips, glass negatives, microfilm, negatives, oversize materials (e.g. maps), periodicals, phonograph records, photo albums, photographs, slides, lantern slides and videotapes. The physical characteristics of the items are described as pertinent, along with subject content.
LIST: list of boxes,of paper records in the collection, arranged
accroding to series , including dates.
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Last Revised: 2/21/07
© Wheaton College 2005