The fonds consists of a collection of letters, postcards, photographs, newspaper clippings, minutes of barracks committee meetings, official memos, U.S. Base publications, theatre programs and schedules, poems, miscellaneous receipts, stamped envelopes, a map and beer mat, which were pasted into two scrapbooks. The items were arranged chronologically as they were received by Mrs. Elsie P. Gilpatrick from her husband, Jerome E. Gilpatrick, while he was serving in Argentia, Newfoundland, from March 1941 to August 1942.
The most significant part of the collection is the correspondence, detailing the daily life, concerns and complaints of the men during the construction of the U.S. Naval Base, and the personal concerns of Mr. Gilpatrick and his family. To round out his description, Mr. Gilpatrick also sent ephemera such as the theatre programs, the base newsletter, photographs and official memos, resulting in an interesting portrait of this little American colony in Newfoundland in the early years of World War Two. There is some incidental commentary on the wider arena of the war and of Newfoundland.
The scrapbooks were carefully dismembered after taking sample photographs of their condition and compiling a page by page index of their contents. The material has been arranged in series according to form and function, and in the chronological order of their creation, as far as possible. Series are as follows: Series 1.00, Correspondence; Series 2.00, Photographs; Series 3.00, Newspaper clippings; Series 4.00, Memos; Series 5.00, Minutes; Series 6.00, Publications; Series 7.00, Theatre schedules; Series 8.00, Poems; Series 9.00, Miscellanea.