The Rancho Los Amigos Hospital records were gathered from a variety of sources within the hospital itself. In many cases, records had been "mined" for other purposes. Many items show evidence of having been moved from one scrapbook to another, for instance. In addition, some of the most valuable records were used for public display purposes and then stored away in offices or series that had little to do with their original provenance.
The most thorough-going disruption of the records appears to have occurred during the writing of the Centennial history in 1985-1988 by Colleen Adair Fliedner, RANCHO: Centennial, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, 1888-1988 published by the Rancho Los Amigos Hospital Medical Center, 1988. [LC number 90-061927; ISBN: 09267156-0-3]. Many of the records that appear in that book are no longer to be found in the collection. The book itself does, however, stand as a reasonable compendium of Rancho history, and the researcher is encouraged to use this source before tackling the records in this collection.
Part of the same process of preparation for the Centennial celebration involved a conscientious attempt to create photographic archives of some of the earliest Rancho records. Some of the most useful records in this collection are proof-sheets and negatives from that effort. The great bulk of the material in this collection is photographic or cinematic. Annual group photos of every department make up the bulk of the photos, but there are many unidentified photos and photo series that were clarly intended for internal staff instruction. The provenance and use of many of these photos is open to question. Most of the film and audiotape collection also appears to be for internal instruction. The provenance of these films is open to severe question. Unlike the rest of the collection, the films were not weeded to eliminate redundancy, since multiple copies might well be necessary for future preservation efforts.
Given the condition of the fond, then, it was thought best to create a wide set of topically based series, maintaining original order whenever possible, but recognizing that for the most part, precise provenance is not attainable.