The National Archives Catalog

Organizational Contributor

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



The name of an organization, other than the archival creator, responsible for the intellectual, technical, artistic, or financial production of the archival materials.

Organizational entities include meetings, conferences, commissions, production groups, and Federal agencies: any entity other than an individual.


Purpose: Enables users to search for archival materials by the organizations responsible for authoring or contributing to the archival materials.


Relationship: This element and Organizational Contributor Type are dependent on each other. For each organizational contributor, Organizational Contributor and Organizational Contributor Type must both be included. If one organization has contributed in multiple ways, it may be represented in Organizational Contributor once and associated with several terms in Organizational Contributor Type.



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

This data is called an "access point." At the series level, access points must be "anchored" or explained in the descriptive record in which the access point appears. Access points may be anchored in narrative fields like Title, Scope and Content Note, Function and Use, and Shot List or in Creating Organization; access points are not considered anchored by the Container List field. Ask yourself the question "will it be apparent to the user how these holdings relate to the access point I have chosen."

At the file unit and item levels, it is best practice to anchor the terms, and you are encouraged but not required to adhere to best practice.

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

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

Do not confuse Organizational Contributor with Organizational Reference. The "contributor" describes whom the records are by, "reference" describes whom the records are about.

If the role of the organization is not clear or the organization acts as both a contributor and subject, indicate the organization in both Organizational Contributor and Organizational Reference.

If the type of contributor is unknown or uncertain, select "Other" and explain the circumstances further in Scope and Content Note. For example, a film may have the words "presented by" on it without clearly identifying the role of the presenter.


Creating Organization - Department of the Treasury.
Organizational Contributor - Disabled American Veterans.
Organizational Contributor Type - Producer
Organizational Contributor Type - Distributor
[For the motion picture "One Who Came Back," which was created to support the sale of war bonds.]


Creating Organization - Department of Transportation. U.S. Coast Guard. Office of Public and International Affairs.
Organizational Contributor - Department of Transportation. U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard Band.
Organizational Contributor Type - Musician
Organizational Reference - Department of Transportation. U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard Band.
[For a motion picture that is both by and about the band.]

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