7.1 Notes (Added Value)

Purpose and Scope

This element provides information that cannot be accommodated in any of the defined elements of description.

Commentary: The use of all notes is optional. They may be used on a case-by-case basis, or an institution may wish to establish a policy regarding what notes to use and how detailed to make them. If it is desirable to provide information on sources of descriptive information, title variations, statements of responsibility, signatures and inscriptions, attributions and conjectures, editions, dates, and publishers’ series, see the appropriate chapter(s) in RDA or other descriptive standards as described in the Overview of Archival Description.

Sources of Information

7.1.1 Take the information from any reliable source.

General Rule

7.1.2 Record, as needed, information not accommodated by any of the defined elements of description.

See also the 1970 Strasbourg conference "La Mythologie blanche: La Métaphore dans le texte philosophique" in Series 3.

Interviewed by Helen Hungerford under the auspices of the Canyon County Historical Society on 10 July 1973.

Part of the Cooperative HBCU Archival Survey Project (CHASP) to survey the archival collections housed in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Specialized Notes


7.1.3 Describe any specific conservation treatment.

Re-bound in 1987 as two volumes for conservation purposes.

Album pages were detached from their original bindings, encapsulated in Mylar, and re-bound, 1988.

Cleaned ultrasonically.

Perforations have been repaired.

7.1.4 If the materials being described are in electronic form, give details of any migration or logical reformatting since its transfer to archival custody. Indicate the location of any relevant documentation. Information regarding digitization is provided in the Existence and Location of Copies Element (6.2).

Computer files migrated by the National Archives of Canada from original word-processing software (MICOM) to WordPerfect version 4.2 to maintain readability of data. Technical specifications of the migration are filed with the printed documentation.


7.1.5 Indicate the preferred style for the citation of the unit being described.

Percival Farquhar Papers. Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

[URL], University of Texas at San Antonio Academic Website Collection, 1996-, UA 01.04, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Alphanumeric Designations

7.1.6 If appropriate at the file or item level of description, make a note of any important numbers borne by the unit being described.

ISBN 0-919223-5.

ISR study no. 56.

Original negative no. 64260.

Plans numbered 4073-52-1 to 4073-52-3.

Variant Title Information

7.1.7 If the collection has been known by a variant title, and the repository wishes to retain a record of the variant title, record that title in a note.

Processing Information

7.1.8 Provide information about actions of the archivist, custodians, or creators of the records or conventions in the finding aid that may have an impact on a researcher’s interpretation of the records or understanding of the information provided in the finding aid.

Actions and conventions include but are not limited to reconstruction of provenance, maintenance, reconstruction, or alteration of original order, devising titles for materials, weeding, and maintenance or provision of control numbers or container numbers.


Some actions noted according to this rule may reference arrangement; however, for identification of the current system of arrangement, see Element 3.2.


 The records of the League of Women Voters received by the Library between 1933 and 1968 were described in a preliminary finding aid that was updated in 1994 with the addition of material received between 1979 and 1990.

Processing information for the League of Women Voters (U.S.) records, Library of Congress

Upon arrival in the Library of Congress, the Gifford Pinchot Papers were placed in manuscript containers, with a descriptive container listing providing the only access to the collection. Substantial portions of the papers were reorganized in 1973 into a more coherent arrangement, and new series were created to bring similar material together.

In 1989 the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the United States Forest Service, undertook a cooperative project to organize and describe those portions of the Pinchot Papers that concerned the early period of the conservation movement and the first five years of the Forest Service from 1890 to 1910. Selected records and files were rearranged to document Pinchot’s contribution to the founding of the conservation movement. Due to the interfiling, transposition, and removal of material that resulted from this reorganization, gaps occurred in the former sequence of arrangement of the manuscript containers. These gaps are identified in the container list by the statement “removed from collection.” Final processing of this segment of the Pinchot Papers was completed in 1991.

In addition to the rearrangement of a portion of the collection between 1989 and 1991, new material was appended in 1985 and 1998. Other revisions were made in 2007, and the finding aid was revised again in 2011.

Processing information for the Gifford Pinchot papers, Library of Congress

Alteration or maintenance of arrangement examples:

Unless otherwise noted in the series and subseries descriptions, the arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order.

Processing information for the Frederick Reines papers

The original arrangement and folder titles were retained in most cases. Exceptions include legal-sized material, which was re-housed into appropriate containers.

Processing information for the Papers of George Wald, Harvard University Archives

The original chronological arrangement of the series was maintained during processing. The sole exception to this arrangement is several files of correspondence with physicists that Reines maintained separately from the chronological files, which are arranged alphabetically by the physicists’ surnames at the end of the series.

Processing information for the Frederick Reines papers

Restoration of provenance examples:

These records were previously dispersed, both physically and intellectually, and classified under numerous call numbers. All of the records were reprocessed in 2011 and brought together as a single collection.

Processing information for the Records of early Harvard buildings, Harvard University Archives

This collection was previously listed in the Harvard University Archives shelflist among the records of the Harvard College Library but otherwise uncataloged. It was processed in 2010. Processing involved a collection survey and arrangement into series and subseries, re-housing in appropriate archival folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid.

Processing information for the Papers of Samuel Shapleigh, Harvard University Archives

Custodian or creator actions examples:

The items in boxes one through three were arranged by Joseph Burlingham in the order in which he planned to use them for his book.

Processing information for the Joseph Lancaster papers, 1796-1840, American Antiquarian Society

Roger W. Hickman, a member of the department from 1927-1966, gathered these records together at the time of his retirement. Folder titles and arrangement were assigned by Hickman and were not changed by the Archives staff, except for the cyclotron records.

Processing information for the Records of the Harvard University Dept. of Physics, Harvard University Archives

George Wald designated files of correspondence with prominent or famous people as “VIP.” The archivist noted this designation in the folder list.

Processing information for the Papers of George Wald, Harvard University Archives

Finding aid conventions examples:

Unless otherwise noted, the parenthetical notations of relationship indicate that person’s relationship to Francis Ellingwood Abbot.

Processing information for the Francis Ellingwood Abbot papers, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School

Folder headings in quotation marks were found on the original folders; these headings appear to have been assigned by Frances Parsons Davis. All other headings have been devised by the processor.

Processing information for the Frances Parsons Davis papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

Dates and other information added by the processor are in square brackets.

Processing information for the Dorothy Adlow papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

The contents of some folders labeled “miscellaneous” were interfiled in this subseries by the archivist. Folder titles enclosed in square brackets were devised by the archivist.

Processing information for the Records of the Association of Harvard Chemists, Harvard University Archives

Titles were assigned by the cataloger unless otherwise noted. Whenever possible, full names were used within titles to enable keyword searching.

Processing information for the Harvard College Papers, 1st series, Harvard University Archives

Weeding statement example:

Photostat copies of originals in the collection were removed.

Processing information for the Commencement Theses, Quaestiones, and Orders of Exercises, Harvard University Archives

Container number alteration examples:

Material received in 1977 was processed as an addition in 1994. The finding aid was further revised and containers housing the addition were renumbered in 2010.

Processing information for the Papers of Kermit and Belle Roosevelt, Library of Congress

These papers of Betty Friedan were previously designated by an accession number range: “71-62--81-M23.” ... The papers arrived in no order; most documents were not in folders. They were roughly sorted and screened so they could be made available for research use. Folder titles were created by the archivist. In 2009, the archivist reboxed the collection, added more description to folder titles and scope and content notes, and intellectually rearranged some folders; the physical arrangement was retained. Basic folder numbers remain the same as in “71-62--81-M23,” but for preservation purposes, many overly full folders have been divided, adding alphabetical designations to the previously assigned numbers (e.g., #149a-149b).

Processing information for the Papers of Betty Friedan, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

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