The National Archives Catalog

Establish Date

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Public Element
No No Date None Yes

* Establish Date is mandatory if the Organization Name is used for a Creating Organization



The date on which the organization was established.


Purpose: Gives the beginning of the chronological range within which the organization existed.


Relationship: This element is dependent on Organization Name. To have Establish Date, Organization Name must be created. Organization Name. One Establish Date can be specified for each Organization Name. Establish Date Qualifier is dependent on Establish Date.




Enter the establish date for the organization.

Use Establish Date Qualifier to indicate uncertain and approximate dates.

Enter the date in MM/DD/YYYY form.
If the day is unknown, enter the month and the year in MM/YYYY form.
If the month is unknown, enter the year in the YYYY form.
Do not use 00 as the month or day.

To determine the establish date of Federal organizations, consult available editions of the United States Government Manual, the Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, any relevant preliminary inventories or NARA-produced finding aids, agency-created Standard Form 135s, or any pertinent accessioned records.

For military organizations, use the activation date as the date of establishment. Do not use the date on which the unit was constituted.

Provide information on the circumstances surrounding an organization's establishment (including any public laws, executive orders, departmental memoranda, directives, or changes in administration) in Administrative History Note.

It is important that an establish date be provided for organizations whose records are part of NARA's holdings and have been identified in Creating Organization. If the establish date of such an organization cannot be determined, use the earliest date provided in Inclusive Start Date for the archival materials of the organization and indicate "ca." in Establish Date Qualifier.

Describe any sources used to determine the organization's establish date in Organization Source Note.




Organization Name - Bureau of the Census.
Establish Date - 03/06/1902


Organization Name - Department of Agriculture. Small Community and Rural Development. Rural Electrification Administration.
Establish Date - 05/11/1935


Organization Name - National Aeronautics and Space Council.
Establish Date - 07/29/1958


Organization Name - Department of the Interior. Alaska Power Administration.
Establish Date - 1967


Organization Name - Department of Energy. Alaska Power Administration.
Establish Date - 08/04/1977

Previous Element
Next Element
Table of Contents
Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide