The National Archives Catalog


Scope Note

MandatoryRepeatableData TypeAuthorityPublic Element
No No Variable Character Length (2000) None Yes
Definition:

A note explaining the coverage, specialized usage, and/or rules for assigning the Topical Subject, Geographic Reference, Specific Records Type, or Program Area.

Purpose:

Restricts or expands the application of the Topical Subject, Geographic Reference, Specific Records Type, or Program Area; distinguishes between authority records that have overlapping meanings in natural language; or provides other advice on its usage

Relationship: This element is dependent on Topical Subject, Geographic Reference, Specific Records Type, or Program Area. To have a Scope Note, one of these authority headings must be created and it must be a preferred record.
Guidance:

See the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (Library of Congress) and MARC21Format for Authority Data online.

Examples:
Topical Subject: Inuit
    Scope Note: Assign this heading to holdings limited to the indigenous Arctic peoples of Greenland, Canada, and northern Alaska.
Geographic Reference: New York (N.Y.)
    Scope Note: Located at mouth of Hudson River; visited by Europeans 16th-17th cen.; settled by Dutch, seized by British in 1664; was cosmopolitan center & nation's largest city by 18th cen.; today is huge metropolis composed of 5 boroughs corresponding to 5 counties.
Specific Records Type: registers (lists)
    Scope Note: Official lists of entries of any information considered sufficiently important to be exactly and formally recorded, typically maintained in numerical or chronological order in a regular manner. (Getty AAT)
Program Area: National security
    Scope Note: For programs encompassing both national defense and foreign relations of the United States.


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