The National Archives Catalog


Creating Individual

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Level Available A/V Only Public Element
Yes* Yes Variable Character Length (700) Person Authority File Series** No Yes

* Either a Creating Individual or a Creating Organization must be indicated.

** Archival creators are captured at the Series Level and are inherited downward to the File Unit and Item Levels.

Definition:

The name of a person responsible for the creation, accumulation, or maintenance of the series when in working (primary) use.

Purpose: Identifies the individuals responsible for the creation of the series. Provides essential information about the provenance of the archival materials.
Relationship: This element and Creating Individual Type are dependent on each other. For each creating individual, Creating Individual and Creating Individual Type must both be included.
Guidance:

Choose the correct name of the creating individual from the Person Authority File. The Person Authority File is based on the Library of Congress Name Authority File.

If the archival materials have three or more creating individuals and at least two of the creating individuals have overlapping dates, the relationship between the creating individuals and the archival materials must be explained in Scope and Content Note.

Only use this element for personal papers and not for organizational records. To identify the creator of organizational records, including donated organizational records, use Creating Organization.

Do not confuse Creating Individual with Personal Contributor.

Note that the creating individual is not necessarily the donor of a collection or the author of an individual record. In cases where it is known that the donor used the materials for reference or some other purpose or altered or changed the archival materials, such as the donor made notes in the margins of the materials, materials were rearranged, or materials were added or removed, the donor should be designated as the creating individual. If there is any uncertainty, the donor should be designated the creating individual. If the donor's role was clearly one of only preserving the archival materials, then the donor should not be designated the creating individual.

Do not repeat the name of the creating individual in Personal Contributor, particularly at the series level, unless the person acted in some other distinct role, such as "Director," "Artist," or "Correspondent." In cases where an individual is named in the series title but is not the creating individual, place the individual's name in Personal Contributor and select "Originator" as Contributor Type.
Examples:
Creating Individual - Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963
Creating Individual Type - Most Recent
[For the series "Harvard Records" which are donated personal papers and not organizational records from his Presidential Administration.]
Creating Individual - Peary, Robert E. (Robert Edwin), 1856-1920
Creating Individual Type - Most Recent
Personal Contributor - Peary, Robert E. (Robert Edwin), 1856-1920
Personal Contributor Type - Photographer
Personal Contributor - Entrikin, Samuel J.
Personal Contributor Type - Photographer
Personal Contributor - Stokes, Frank Wilbert, 1858-1955
Personal Contributor Type - Photographer
Personal Contributor - Operti, Albert, 1852-1927
Personal Contributor Type - Photographer
Personal Contributor - Dodge, Arthur M.
Personal Contributor Type - Photographer
[For the series "Photographs Relating to Arctic Expeditions" which is part of the Robert E. Peary Family Collection. Several individuals may have taken the photographs including Peary himself, Samuel Entrikin, Frank W. Stokes, Albert Operti, and Arthur M. Dodge.]


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