Assignment 3: Scope and Content Note and Container List

Eric Theodore Carlson papers

Scope and Content Note

This is a collection of correspondences, army documents, and school documents belonging to Eric Theodore Carlson (who went by the name of Ted) dated 1944 – 1947 (bulk 1944 – 1946). These documents primarily describe Carlson’s daily routines and leisure activities from his time at Iowa State College, Fort Snelling (army stint), Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, MI, and Monsanto Laboratories in Dayton OH. Towards the later part of the collection, Carlson talks about his concerns with atomic energy, his involvement with the atomic bomb, and his legislative push for the McMahon Bill.World War II is consistently present throughout the collection, whether it’s an order to report from the army or his personal musings about the politics and events of the time.


Container List

Series 1: Correspondence (1944 – 1947) – By far the largest of the series (50/70 items), Carlson’s letters are mostly between he and his parents (37/50). These consist, in equal parts, of information describing the academic, militaristic, and professional aspects of his day-to-day life and random bits that fill his days, such as going to the movies, feeling ill, a delay in a train he took, and plans to come home and visit with his parents. Other people Ted corresponded with include his brother Sam and former lab and school colleagues.

Series 2: College (1944) – Similar to the army series (8/70), except it pertains to the time he spent at Iowa State College and includes items such as a semester schedule, letters announcing recommendation for high distinction honors, and the possibility of teaching classes for credit.

Series 3: Army (1944 – 1946) – This is the second largest series (13/70) and consists of short orders, such as to report for a physical exam, passes to travel while on duty, and forms petitioning for discharge to accept a research lab position. Covers time spent in Fort Snelling, Detroit (MI), and other stations he passed through briefly.

As described above, The Eric Theodore Carlson papers have been arranged into three categories, those of correspondence, army, and college. All of the items obtained in this collection fit well into one of these three categories, so there isn’t a need for a miscellaneous category. Within each of these three categories, the items are arranged chronologically because, when placed in chronological order, the items create a cohesive and congruent narrative. It is not critical that the categories themselves be placed in any order, but the correspondence category contains the most items, and these items touch on all three of the categories, so it has been ordered first. The correspondence folder is followed by the college folder simply because the college materials pre-date the army materials. Lastly, the army folder rounds out the collection.


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