Organization Descriptions from the National Archives Catalog
- What is the data?
- How do I access the data?
- Why was this data selected?
- What high value criteria does it meet?
- Is this the first time the data is available?
- Who may be interested in this information?
- Who do I contact if I have questions about this data?
This dataset contains a highly detailed presentation of the evolution of names and administrative histories of Federal and non-Federal organizations. It is used by the National Archives and Records Administration to track the organization that created records, and as a source of access points for indexing archival descriptions and/or other authority records with consistent headings.
The organization file is compressed because of the size. Use WinZip or a similar program to extract the contents of the file. The compressed file contains thousands of XML files.
The following data files represent the Organizational Descriptions available through February 14, 2016.
Technical documentation provides details on what XML tags are used.
* Please note these files are zipped. You'll need to use Winzip or a similar program to unzip.
In addition to a presentation of agency name changes, organizations name authority records display complicated hierarchical structures of Federal agencies, establish and abolish dates (when known), references to Federal statutes creating and/or abolishing agencies, descriptions of the agency's role and responsibilities, and references (as controlled headings) to geographic places, program area terms, and high-level staff members.
Access to organization descriptions can be used to further describe archival descriptions in the Online Catalog, and:
- can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness
- improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations
- furthers the core mission of the agency
- creates economic opportunity
- responds to need and demand as identified through public consultation
These archival descriptions are published in the National Archives Catalog. This is the first time the data is available as raw data in XML format.
Researchers, veterans, family historians and genealogists, academics, and records managers.