School archives contain records of the actions of school boards and chronicle changes in student life over time, changes in curriculum and instruction, the various terms of different superintendents and the school district's architectural history. School archives attempt to provide as detailed an image of the institution's history as possible.
Archives maintain a database of district annual reports, school histories and research studies performed in the schools. Journals, newspapers, yearbooks and artwork produced by student organizations and individual students are also gathered into the archives, as are sound recordings, scrapbooks and other artifacts. Photographs from such events as field trips, official class reunions, performing arts recitals, commencement ceremonies and sports games all appear in the archives, and some districts maintain an online archive to allow public access to those images.
Administrative files present in many school archives include the minutes, correspondence, index and administrative documents from school board proceedings. Email messages also are included, as those are part of the public record. Working files from the district's superintendent, original architectural renderings and drawings and other documents related to planning facilities are often included. A collection of the school system's textbooks as well as records documenting their selection processes also appear in archives.