Appendix: Sample Annotated Finding Aid

Sample Finding Aid with Annotations

Below is an example of a finding aid describing an archival collection. This annotated model is designed to help define the separate parts of a finding aid and the standard formatting of finding aids in archives. Not all finding aids will incorporate these elements, but this sample should reflect a range of options researchers might encounter in finding aid formats.

[Title Page: The beginning of the finding aid includes the name of the archival repository, the title of the archival collection, finding aid creation information, and a date range for the materials in the archive. “Bulk dates” refers to the date range where most of the materials in the collection originate.]


Finding aid for
Corinth Chamber Of Commerce Records
Date range: 1921-2005
Bulk dates: 1975-1997

Finding Aid created by Laura Schmidt, 2010
Copyright Corinth Historical Society

[Summary Information: This section lists the creator of the materials in the archive, the size and extent of the collection (in boxes and linear feet), call numbers and storage locations, language(s) represented in the collection, and a brief description (abstract) of the collection contents.]

Creator: Corinth Chamber of Commerce

Extent: 2.5 linear feet (2 boxes and 1 oversize scrapbook)

Abstract: The records of the Corinth Chamber of Commerce include correspondence, events files, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings concerning community projects, and a scrapbook of photographs.

Call number: 85741 PUm – 2nd floor and Oversize Section

Language: The material is in English

[Access and Use: If there are any restrictions placed on an archival collection, those should be noted here. Other information in this section includes how the archives received the collection, and copyright and citation notes.]

Acquisition Information: These records came to the historical society in 2008, deposited by the Corinth Chamber of Commerce (donor no. 1297).  Future additions to the records are expected.

Access Restrictions: The record group is open to research.

Copyright: Copyright remains with the Corinth Chamber of Commerce.

Cite as: [item], folder, box, Corinth Chamber of Commerce records, Corinth Historical Society.

[Background Information: This section details the history or biographical information relating to the collection and how it was created.]

History: The Corinth Chamber of Commerce was established in 1922 and is dedicated to helping the businesses of Corinth grow and promoting the economic development of the region. The chamber is run by a combination of volunteers and professional staff. Local activities and events are also sponsored by the chamber. These records were created and deposited by the Corinth Chamber of Commerce.

[Scope and Content and Arrangement: This section provides an overview of the types of materials in the collection and how they have been arranged. The different sections of the collection (series and subseries) organize collection content by type of material, format, topic, or some other filing system determined by the archival staff, and/or the original creator of the collection.]

Scope and Content: The records of the Corinth Chamber of Commerce include correspondence, events files, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings concerning community projects, and one scrapbook. The strength of the collection is found with the correspondence, meeting minutes, and newspaper clippings series. These series give a historical overview of the involvement and impact the chamber has had in the city of Corinth.

The correspondence series ranges from 1921 to 1996 and includes correspondence from staff members, local business owners, and other civic leaders, arranged by date. Of particular prominence is the correspondence with Mayor Thaddeus Gladstone (1945–1959), who worked very closely with the Chamber on city improvements during his tenure.

The events files contain materials relating to various events sponsored by the chamber from 1965 to 2005, including the annual town Christmas play. Arrangement is first by date and then by event title.

Meeting minutes are from the Board of Directors quarterly meetings, filed by date.

The newspaper clippings series contains a wide range of articles on community projects sponsored by the chamber and chamber activities, filed by date.

The scrapbook was created by chamber staff and is stored separately from the rest of the collection. It contains photographs from 1926 to 1965 of town storefronts and events.

[Subject Terms: This section includes a list of terms, topics, etc. covered in the collection and usually linked to a library catalog to provide the researcher with materials in similar categories.]


  • Boards of trade—Corinth
  • Corinth—History
  • Municipal government—Corinth
  • Corinth—Social life and customs—20th century

[Related Materials: This section of the finding aid points the researcher to other items in the archives (or elsewhere) that are closely related to the collection described in the finding aid. The items may be related by origin, subject matter, etc.]

Related Materials:

Researchers interested in this archive may also wish to consult the following resources in the Corinth Historical Society holdings:

Corinth Community Park Project Records – A collection documenting a landscaping project partly sponsored by the Corinth Chamber of Commerce

Corinth Photograph Collection – contains photos of local homes and businesses

Other materials in the historical society holdings may relate to the topics in this archive. See the archivist for further research assistance.

[Contents listing: Sometimes also called “container contents.” This is a box-by-box, folder-by-folder listing of the materials stored in the collection. The level of detail in this section may vary depending on collection scope and individual repository practices.]

Folder #                                Description

        BOX 1
Correspondence (1921–1996)

   1                                       Correspondence, 1921–1931

   2                                       Correspondence, 1932–1940

   3                                       Correspondence, 1941–1955

   4                                       Correspondence, 1956–1967

   5                                       Correspondence, 1968–1975

   6                                       Correspondence, 1976–1985

   7                                       Correspondence, 1985–1996

 Events Files (1965–2005)

   8                                       Christmas play publicity, programs, and ticket stubs, 1965–1975

   9                                       Christmas play materials continued, 1978–1993

   10                                     “Party in the Park” Corinth Community Park dedication, 1994. Includes publicity, a transcript of  

                                             the speech by the mayor, and 6 photographs.

   11                                      Main Street beautification project, 1994–1996. Includes planning documents, items from grand

                                             opening ceremony, and a piece of fabric from the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

   12                                      Christmas play materials continued, 1995–2005

Meeting Minutes (1935–2005)

   13                                      Board of Directors meeting minutes, 1935–1952

   14                                      Meeting minutes continued, 1956–1963

   15                                      Meeting minutes continued, 1964–1975

   16                                      Meeting minutes continued, 1976–1984

   17                                      Meeting minutes continued, 1985–1996


        BOX 2

   18                                      Meeting minutes continued, 1997–2000

   19                                      Meeting minutes continued, 2001–2003

   20                                      Meeting minutes continued, 2004–2005

Newspaper Clippings (1945–2003)

   21                                      Articles relating to Chamber of Commerce events and activities, 1945–1963.

   22                                      Articles continued, 1969–1975

   23                                      Articles continued, 1976–1977

   24                                      Articles continued, 1979–1985

   25                                      Articles continued, 1987–1995

   26                                      Articles continued, 1996–2000

   27                                      Articles continued, 2001–2003

Scrapbook  (1926–1965)

Contains photographs from 1926 to 1965 of town storefronts and events. Stored separately from the collection in the oversize section. Ask archival staff for retrieval.


Display this badge on your site!
Copy this code and paste in your HTML file.