The National Archives Catalog

Personal Reference

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Public Element
No Yes Variable Character Length (700) Person Authority File Yes


Definition: The names of individuals who are significantly associated with the organization.


Purpose: Enables users to search for organizations by the people associated with them.


Relationship: This element is dependent on Organization Name. To have Personal Reference, Organization Name must be created.



Choose the names of people significantly associated with the organization from the Person Authority File. The Person Authority File is based on the Library of Congress Name 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.


Carlin, John, 1940-


Komer, R. W.


Haggerty, Pat

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