In the course of processing the FJP Public Relations files, I encountered a few boxes as well as some stray file folders here and there that were labeled “scripts.” The contents of these exceptionally dusty boxes were somewhat of a mess. One box contained several rough bundles of stained, yellowing documents, like the one seen above on the left, tied up with thick twine. Some bundles were wrapped up in brittle brown butcher paper dating back to the 1940s and 1950s, when these scripts were written. Another box contained some loose and disheveled documents in bad condition and in no particular order. This happens often enough with archival materials. Archivists do not always know under what chaotic conditions the boxes we encounter were originally packed. We keep our eyes open for any and all clues that could help a researcher put the materials to use in the future.
Closer inspection of these records revealed scripts for radio and television programs, film projects, spoken presentations and slides shows. Much of the processing work here involved selecting the best copy of any given script and discarding the numerous duplicates. The scripts were then housed in fresh new acid-free folders and packed snugly into sparkling white acid-free cartons. Processing reduced the total volume of material by about half. The files are arranged first chronologically, then by program title, if it was supplied.