The National Archives Catalog


Function and Use

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Level Available A/V Only Public Element
No* No Variable Character Length (2000) None Series No Yes

*Function and Use is mandatory for new descriptions of organizational records, but not for descriptions of personal papers or legacy descriptions.

Definition:

The description of why the archival materials were created.

This element differs from Scope and Content Note, which describes the significant information contained within the records.

Function and Use is about the activities that resulted in the creation of the archival materials.
Scope and Content Note is what is in the archival materials.
Purpose: Gives users a better understanding of the context of the archival materials.
Relationship: This element is independent.
Guidance:

Enter a description of specific activities or actions that resulted in the creation of the archival materials.

If appropriate, enter information about related records, but not if the relationship is simply one of subject or provenance.

Function and Use is mandatory for all new descriptions of organizational records (Government or donated materials), but not for personal papers or previously described archival materials.

Write in complete sentences. Be precise and brief. Do not use acronyms or organizational designations that are not defined in either Title or Scope and Content Note. If Function and Use Note uses an acronym that is not defined in either Title or Scope and Content Note, define the acronym the first time that it is used in Function and Use Note. Consult the Abbreviations section for further guidance on other abbreviation topics.

Examples:
The Reports of Death were created at field hospitals or by battlefield commanders and were later used by Sextons to complete Internment Records.
The records were created or collected by the Assistant Manager for Public Education to inform the public of the activities of the Manhattan District and later the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The records also reflect the effort of the AEC to promote the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
These rolls were created because the Cherokee citizenship of many ex-slaves of the Cherokee in Indian Territory was disputed by the Cherokee tribe. The establishment of their status was important in determining their right to live on Cherokee land and to share in certain annuity and other payment, including a special $75,000 award voted by Congress on October 19, 1888. A series of investigations was conducted to compile the rolls of the Cherokee Freedmen. These investigations were conducted by John W. Wallace, 1889-90; Leo E. Bennett, 1891-92; Marcus D. Shelby, 1893; James G. Dickson, 1895-96; and William Clifton, William Thompson, and Robert H. Kern, 1896-97.
These records were created to provide a reference source for agency staff who wish to determine the name of the institution or the "chief of party" conducting a specific magnetics study.
The minute books were created to record the court's activities on a daily basis, including both criminal and civil litigation.


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