The National Archives Catalog


Organization Name

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Public Element
Yes Yes Variable Character Length (700) None Yes
Definition: Represents the name of the organization being described in the authority record.The official designation of an organization.
Purpose: Controls the name of an organization.
Relationship: Organization Name is the element on which all the other elements used to describe Organizations are dependent. To have any other element, Organization Name must be created. This element is not dependent on any other element.
Guidance: Enter the official name of the organization. Use initial capital letters. End the name with a period.

Organization Name may contain subject access points to indicate the program area or the jurisdiction of an organization. If either is identified in Organization Name, source notes, and/or administrative history note, an appropriate program area term or geographic place name heading may be assigned from one of the following authority sources:

NARA Rules for Forming Federal Organization Names
The guidance below governs the formation of organization names for Federal agencies, Presidential organizations, congressional bodies, and courts. It also governs international organizations for which NARA has accessioned records.

Organizational Hierarchy
For Federal organizations, the organization name consists of a full administrative hierarchy that links the organization unit being described to a cabinet-level department, independent agency or establishment, house of Congress, or court. Separate each name in the hierarchy with a period.

Department of Defense. U.S. Pacific Command. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Security. Operations and Training Division. Military History Branch.
Department of Agriculture. Forest Service. Sierra National Forest.

When the Organizational Hierarchy is Unknown
Description of the chain of command can sometimes be difficult. A particular unit may be so far removed from the top of the chain, that identification of intervening links is difficult, if not impossible. If a level is known to have existed, but the name of the organizational level is unknown, denote the unknown level with a "~", separated by periods.

Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration. Office of Aviation Policy.~. Aviation Forecast Branch.

Correspondence Codes
Do not use internal correspondence codes as part of an organization name. If necessary, this information can be conveyed in Administrative History Note or in Variant Organization Name.

Presidential Administrations
To form the organization name for a Presidential administration, use the term "President" followed by the years of the administration and the President's last name in parentheses. Use a colon to separate the years from the name. Place a space on either side of the colon.

President (1953-1961 : Eisenhower).
President (1993-2001 : Clinton).

Legislative Bodies
For the organization names of Congress, use:

U.S. Senate.
U.S. House of Representatives.

To form the organization name of a joint committee, use "U.S. Congress." followed by the name of the joint committee.

U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on the Library.

To form the organization name of a committee or other subordinate unit (other than legislative subcommittees), use "U.S. Senate." or "U.S. House of Representatives." followed by the name of the committee.

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Government Organization.

To form the organization name of a legislative subcommittee, use "U.S. Senate." or "U.S. House of Representatives." followed by the name of the committee, followed by the name of the subcommittee.

U.S. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on Canadian Affairs.

Courts
To form the organization name of a Federal court, use the following conventions:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Tuscaloosa Office.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
U.S. District Court for the Northern (Montgomery) Division of the Middle District of Alabama.

Foreign Service Posts
To form the organization name of a Foreign Service post, use "Department of State." followed by the name of the embassy, consulate, legation, or other office, followed by the name of the city (if a local post), and country.

Department of State. U.S. Embassy, France.
Department of State. U.S. Consulate, Cairo, Egypt.

Armed Forces
For a military department, agency, or command directly subordinate to the National Military Establishment (the predecessor of the Department of Defense from September 1947 to August 1949), use "Department of Defense." as the highest level.

For an agency, unified combatant command, or specified commands directly subordinate to the Department of Defense, use "Department of Defense." as the highest level, followed by the name of the agency. Do not use "Joint Chiefs of Staff." as an intermediate heading.

Department of Defense. Defense Logistics Agency.
Department of Defense. U.S. Pacific Command.

For a multi-service or sub-unified command directly subordinate to a unified combatant command, enter that command's designation as a subheading of the unified combatant command.

Department of Defense. U.S. Pacific Command. Military Assistance Command Vietnam.
Department of Defense. U.S. European Command. Military Assistance Advisory Group France.

For a principal military service, use the name of the military department as a subordinate of "Department of Defense."

Department of Defense. Department of the Army.
Department of Defense. Department of the Air Force.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. U.S. Marine Corps.

With the single exception noted below, enter the name of a single-service agency or command as a direct subordinate of the military department.

Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Europe.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Bureau of Ships.
Department of Defense. Department of the Air Force. Pacific Air Forces.

Exception: For a subordinate command of a single-service component of a unified combatant command, use the name of the superior service component as an intermediate heading.

Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Pacific. U.S. Army Vietnam.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. U.S. Pacific Fleet. U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam.

For a unit that is identified by a number, use the style of numbering found in the official name (spelled out, roman numerals, or arabic numerals). Use "U.S." only if it is part of the unit designation. Descriptive terms which appear in parentheses (e.g., "mechanized infantry," "airmobile infantry," "105 mm Howitzer, Towed") are not part of a unit's official designation.

Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Continental Army Command. First U.S. Army.
Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Europe. VII Corps.
War Department. U.S. Army Forces Pacific. 1st Cavalry Division.
Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Pacific. U.S. Army Vietnam. 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry.
Department of Defense. Department of the Air Force. Pacific Air Forces. Second Air Force. 31st Tactical Fighter Wing.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. U.S. Naval Forces Europe. U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Pacific Fleet. Carrier Air Wing 9. Attack Squadron 165.
For a military installation, enter the full name of the installation followed by the name of the state or country in which it was located.
Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Continental Army Command. Fort Lewis, Washington.
Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Europe. Giessen Quartermaster Depot, Germany.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Pacific Fleet. U.S. Naval Forces Japan. Naval Station, Sasebo, Japan.
Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. U.S. Marine Corps. Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.

Ships
Enter the name of a ship as a direct subordinate of the military service. Omit preceding abbreviations (e.g. U.S.S.). Enter hull numbers (e.g. BB 47, CVA 66) in Variant Organization Name. To avoid confusion with personal names or organizational bodies, add the type of vessel (e.g. Destroyer).

Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Ronald Reagan (Aircraft carrier)
Department of the Navy. Delaware (Battleship)

International Conferences, Commissions, and Expositions
To form the organization name of an international conference, commission or exposition, enter the name of the conference, commission, or exposition as it was officially known. This can be determined by examination of the accessioning dossiers and of the records themselves. Chronological dates should not be entered as part of the organization name unless the date is clearly part of the official name. Normally, this information can be conveyed in Establish Date and Abolish Date.

Tripartite Meeting of Foreign Ministers.
First Quebec Conference (Quadrant Conference)

To form the organization name of a delegation, use the term "U.S. Delegation." as the main heading of the organization name.

U.S. Delegation. Second International Conference on Emigration and Immigration.
U.S. Delegation. First International Conference of American States.

To form the organization name of a delegation whose U.S. representation is subordinate to a Federal agency, use the name of the agency as the main heading of the organization name.

Department of State. U.S. Delegation. Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics.
Department of State. U.S. Delegation. Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers.

To form the organization name of subordinate organizations of international conferences, meetings, and expositions, use the name of the subordinate organization as a secondary heading.

Eighth American Scientific Congress. Secretariat.
Paris Peace Conference. Political and Territorial Commission for Italy. Sub-Commission on the Status of the Free Territory of Trieste.

To form the organization name of an international commission, use the official name of the sponsoring or convening international body.

Four Power Commission of Investigation.

To form the organization name of an exposition, use the following conventions:

Pan American Exposition at Buffalo.
Chicago World's Fair Centennial Celebration.
U.S. Commissioner. Seattle World's Fair.

GUIDANCE FOR NON-FEDERAL ORGANIZATIONS

The guidance above governs the formation of organization names for Federal agencies, Presidential organizations, congressional bodies, and courts. It also governs international organizations for which NARA has accessioned records. However, the guidance does not govern the formation of organization names for State governments, non-profit organizations, private corporate bodies, or international organizations. Nor does it govern the formation of names of the Confederate States of America. The names of these organizations can be selected from the Library of Congress Name Authority File. (LCNAF)

If the name of a non-Federal creating organization is not available in LCNAF, the cataloger should follow RDA (Resource Description and Access) rules.



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