The National Archives Catalog

Personal Reference

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


Definition: The name of an individual who is the subject of or highly relevant to the archival materials.


Purpose: Enables users to search for archival materials about specific people.


Relationship: This element is independent.



Choose the name of the person from the Person Authority File. The Person Authority File is based on the Library of Congress Name Authority File.

People indicated in this element must be mentioned in Scope and Content Note or referenced in Title.

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

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


Personal Contributor - Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
Personal Contributor Type - Author
Personal Reference - Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870
[For the Item Level description of President Roosevelt's "Extemporaneous remarks on the unveiling of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Statue."]


Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994
[For a photograph of the First Lady in the White House.]

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