The National Archives Catalog


Creating Organization

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

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

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

Definition: The name of the organization responsible for the creation, accumulation, or maintenance of the series when in working (primary) use.
Purpose: Identifies the organizations responsible for the creation of the series. Provides essential information about the provenance of the archival materials.
Relationship: This element and Creating Organization Type are dependent on each other. For each creating organization, Creating Organization and Creating Organization Type must both be included.
Guidance:

Choose the correct name of the creating organization from the Organization Authority File.

For preliminary descriptions, use the highest organizational level of the creating organization if the actual creator is unknown or difficult to discern from the accessioning documentation.

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

Do not confuse Creating Organization with Organizational Contributor. Do not repeat the name of the archival creator in Organizational Contributor, particularly at the series level, unless the organization acted in some other distinct role, such as "Author," "Producer," "Distributor," or "Defendant."

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

In cases where an organization is named in the series title but is not the creating organization, place the organization's name in Organizational Contributor and select "Originator" as Organizational Contributor Type.

Note that the creating organization is not necessarily the agency that transferred the records. This often happens when records are transferred for agency storage or made available for secondary use before they are transferred to NARA. In cases where it is known that the transferring agency used the materials for reference or some other purpose or altered or changed the archival materials, such as a military history office in which notes were made in the margins of the materials, materials were rearranged, or materials were added or removed, the transferring agency should be designated as the creating organization. If there is any uncertainty as to whether or not the archival materials have been used or altered, the transferring agency should be designated the creating organization. If the transferring agency's role was clearly one of only preserving the archival materials, then the transferring agency should not be designated the creating organization.

Examples:
Creating Organization - U.S. District Court for the Fort Smith Division of the Western District of Arkansas.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent
[For the series "Defendant Jacket Files for U.S. District Court, Western" dating from 1866 - 1900.]
Creating Organization - Harmon Foundation, Inc.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent
Personal Contributor - Space, Kenneth F.
Personal Contributor Type - photographer
[For the series "Kenneth Space Photographs of the Activities of Southern Black Americans" which were taken by Mr. Space in the 1930s and 1940s when he worked for the Harmon Foundation.]
Creating Organization - Department of Defense. Pacific Command. U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. Personnel Directorate. Personnel Advisory Division.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent

Creating Organization - Department of Defense. Pacific Command. U.S. Military Personnel. Advisory Division.
Creating Organization Type - Predecessor

[For a series that has two creators: the first is the most recent and the second is predecessor.]
Creating Organization - Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent

Creating Organization - United Nations Command. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent

Creating Organization - Department of Defense. Far East Command. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1.
Creating Organization Type - Most Recent

[For a series that has three simultaneous creators.]


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