Administrative History Note
|Mandatory||Repeatable||Data Type||Authority||Public Element|
|No||No||Variable Character Length (9999)||None||Yes|
|Definition:||Explanations or significant information regarding the organization, including information relevant to an understanding of its creation, mission, functions, program areas, activities, incumbents, administrative and operational hierarchy, relationships to other corporate bodies, relationships with superior organizations, and earlier or successor names.|
|Purpose:||Establishes an appropriate context for understanding the records created by an organization.|
Use the past tense, even for ongoing agencies.
Do not include information on organizations that are higher in the hierarchy. This information will be conveyed in separate organization authority records.
Do not include extensive information of major predecessor organizations. This will be handled in separate authority records.
Do not use bullets in the text-they do not translate well in ARC.
What to Include in an Administrative History Note
Enter a narrative description of the organization's history, including any significant information required to make clear the context in which archival materials were created, accumulated, and maintained.
Give the dates of the establishment of the organization. Use "ca." If you can only approximate the date.
If known, cite the authority by which the organization was established.
Changes in the Hierarchy
Changes in the Organization Name
Abolishment and Successor(s) Include date and authority (if known). Briefly describe the circumstances, if appropriate. If functions were transferred, mention the organization(s) that inherited functions of the abolished organization.
What Not to Include in an Administrative History Note
When to Write an Administrative History Note
An Administrative History Note may be written for an organization that has not transferred archival materials to NARA whenever such a note assists in the understanding of lower-level organizations and their records.
Some organizations may share a common history and in that case only one administrative history note needs to be written. Multiple organization names can be linked to one administrative history note.