Metadata Input Guidelines: Creator

Element Name



A person, agency, or organization primarily responsible for creating the intellectual content of the resource.

Where Can the Creator Information be Found?

Creators include any person/company/organization that was centrally involved in creating the item and may be found on:

Item Type Information Sources
For text
  • title page
  • cover
  • end of document
For images
  • bottom or back of a photograph
  • envelope, slip cover, or case
For maps
  • statement in a caption
  • notes around the outside of the map
For music scores
  • top of page
  • title page
  • table of contents
For videos
  • title screen(s)
  • label on disc
  • container cover
For sound files
  • information on disc/cassette
  • container information
For computer files
  • title page/screen
  • statement in a header/footer

In some cases creators may come from accompanying or supplementary information.

How Creator Works in the Metadata Form

1. Creator name – text field
2. Creator type – drop-down menu
3. Creator role – drop-down menu
4. Creator information – text field
Yes - to include multiple creators, click ‘Add’ to repeat all field parts
No (more information)

How Should the Creator be Filled in?

General Creator Rules

  • If no creator information is readily available, leave the field blank
  • Only include individuals/organizations who were primarily responsible for the creation of the item
    • Secondary ‘creators’ should be entered as contributors instead
      • A name should never be entered as both a creator and a contributor; if an agent acts in multiple capacities, see the Role section for clarification
      • For more information about when a person/organization is a creator or a contributor, see our definition page
    • An entity must have a direct relationship to the item that can be explicated in order to be included as a creator (or contributor)
      • If there is information about a person/organization that cannot be expressed as a role, it may be appropriate to add it elsewhere, such as a Note or Info in relation to an established creator
  • Include as many creators as are readily available
    • Place them in order of importance
    • If creators are equally important, list them in the order that they appear
    • If a document lists individuals as “et al.” include names of every individual author that is known for the item
    • If a document has an excessively large number of creators or authors (e.g., several hundred researchers) include the parent organizations as creators and the individual persons as contributors
  • For each creator the name, type, and role are required
  • If possible, consult an authority file to find the correct form of the name, such as:
  • Note that organizational names generally reflect the name of the agency at the time the item was created – e.g., Texas (Republic) vs. Texas, or North Texas State University vs. University of North Texas – however, if possible, personal names will generally reflect a single, most current version when multiple names (initials, maiden names, etc.) are known to be used by a specific person

Creator Names

Personal Names

Guideline Example
Kittrell, Norman G. (Norman Goree), 1849-1927
  • If no authorized version is available, enter the most complete version of the name that is known using proper formatting:
    • Invert names (Last, First Middle)
    • Use initials if the full names are not known
    • Use spaces between initials
    • Separate hyphenated first names with a hyphen instead of a space if only initials are known
    • Put additional middle names after the first name
    • Consider both parts of a hyphenated name the 'last name'
    • Consider multiple parts (von, de la, etc.) as part of the last name
Hébert, Rachel Bluntzer

Reid, Samuel C.

Blackburn, J. K. P.

Hsieh, P.-C.

Briscoe, Mary Jane Harris

Donahue-Smith, James A.

de la Peña, L. R.
  • If it is unclear which part of the name is the surname, enter the name as it appears on the item
  • Use appropriate abbreviations:
    • Only include known titles (Dr., Rev., Capt., etc.) before the first name if:
      • The title is necessary for clarification of the name
      • The title is the only part of the name known (aside from a surname)
    • Include suffixes that are a part of the name (Jr., Sr., etc.) at the end of the name after a second comma
Morris, Mrs. Harry Joseph

Ross, Lieutenant

Roberts, Frank H. H., Jr.
  • Do not include:
    • nicknames
    • abbreviations
    • titles that do not fit the criteria above
    • job or educational qualifiers (C.E., D.D.S., Ph.D., etc.)
  • Some common historical personal name abbreviations:
    • Chas. = Charles
    • Geo. = George
    • Jas. = James
    • Jno. = John
    • Thos. = Thomas
    • Wm. = William
  • These can all go in the information section of the field.
Name: Perera, Mahendra
Info: M.B.B.S., Ph.D., M.D., MRCPsych, FRANZCP; Albert Road Clinic, Melbourne, Australia

Name: James, Thomas Leroy
Info: Thos. L. James
  • If the same person is responsible for multiple items:
    • Enter the name as consistently as possible in every record
    • Use the fullest form of the name that is available
  • If the name changes and it is certainly the same person:
    • Use the later/most current version
    • Include the former name as creator information if it is used on the text
  • When in doubt, enter the name as it appears on the specific item
Name: Gaines, Ann

Name: Gaines, Ann
Information: Ann Sanders
  • Only include names of specific persons (or organizations)
  • In cases where the name is not known (e.g., "Staff Photographer") either:
    • Leave the creator field blank
    • Include the name of the parent organization and add details as creator information
Name: Texas. Department of Transportation.
Information: Staff Photographer

Organization Names

Guideline Example

For non-government or single-level bodies:

  • Use the names as they appear in the item
  • Do not invert personal names that are parts of organizational names
  • Write out names instead of using acronyms
Dallas Heritage Village

R. L. Polk & Co.

Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study

For hierarchical agencies:

  • List agency or body parts in hierarchical order, starting at the highest level and ending with the most specific
  • Separate the elements of the hierarchy with periods
  • Preface names of government agencies with the name of the country or state
  • If a hierarchy is unclear, record the name as it appears on the resource
Texas State College for Women. College of Industrial Arts.

Dallas (Tex.). Police Department.

Texas. Adjutant General's Office.

For United States agencies:

  • Spell out "United States" unless there is an authorized version that abbreviates it
  • In the case of a long (well-known) name, it may be shortened by eliminating unnecessary parts
    • For example, to enter the CIA, use the form from the Library of Congress Authorities (not: United States. National Security Council. Central Intelligence Agency.)
United States. Bureau of Mines.

Geological Survey (U.S.)

United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

For foreign agencies:

  • Use an authorized form of the name, if there is one
    • If the name is written in a language other than English, add the English translation (if known) in the information section of the field
    • If the name is written in English, additional forms of the name can be included in the information section of the field as needed
  • If there is no authorized form of the name, use the name as it appears and follow general formatting rules
Japan. Kankyōshō.

China (Republic : 1949- ). Huan jing bao hu shu.

Creator Type

  • Choose the appropriate creator type:
Guideline Example
If the creator is an individual Person
If the creator is a company, organization, association, agency, or other institution Organization
If it is unclear whether the creator name belongs to an individual or an organization, use 'Person' and format the name appropriately.

(If it is important to clarify this choice, you can include a Non-Displaying Note.)
In some rare and very specific cases, other options may apply:  
If the creator is a conference or other event that produces papers and materials

(e.g., A statement drafted by all members of a symposium or conference as part of the activities of the meeting)
If the creator is a computer program that generates data or files independently

(e.g., An automatically-generated file created while a computer program was running)

Creator Role

Entering Roles

Guideline Example
If the role is not listed:
  • Choose 'Other'
  • Include clarification in the 'Information' section
Name: Phillips, Nelson
Role: Other
Information: Speaker; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
If more than one role applies to the creator:
  • Choose the primary or most encompassing role (or the one listed first)
  • Explain the details in the information section
Name: Harden, Leland
Role: Editor
Information: Executive Editor; Sponsor

Assigning Roles

  • Although the same list of roles is available for both creators and contributors, some roles will only apply to contributors:
    • Agents who only had responsibility for a part, e.g., author of introduction, etc.; witness; consultant; expert
    • Agents who had an indirect relationship, e.g., funder, sponsor, former owner, donor
      (Additional explanation is on our creator and contributor definition page)
  • The role should describe the action that the agent took in creating the item and it may not align with job titles or credentials, for example:
  Agents Role Example
  • director of a performance (film, play, concert, etc.)
Director Creator
Name: Homer, Paula
Type: Person
Role: Director
Information: UNT Opera Theater
  • executive director of an agency with no apparent contribution to the item
n/a Creator
Name: Texas. Department of Transportation.
Type: Organization
Role: Author
Information: Phil Wilson, Executive Director
  • executive director of an agency with a described or understandable role (e.g., author of transmittal letter)
Author of introduction, etc.
(or another appropriate role)
Name: Camargo, Gene
Type: Person
Role: Author of introduction, etc.
Information: Director of Building Inspections
  • musician in a recital or concert
  • actor in a play or movie
Performer Creator
Name: North Texas Wind Symphony
Type: Organization
Role: Performer
  • a person/organization that "performed" work or research
    (aside from, or in addition to specific person/s who authored a report or created some product of the work)
(or another appropriate role)
Name: Quigg, Antonietta Salvatrice
Type: Person
Role: Author

Name: Texas Water Development Board
Type: Organization
Role: Originator
  • a consulting company or person that authors a report
Author Creator
Name: Kerley, Gerald I.
Type: Person
Role: Author
Information: Consultant, Kerly Technical Services
  • a consultant who provided information as a contribution to a report
  • a consultant who spoke during recorded/transcribed proceedings (could also be an "expert" or "witness" depending on context)
Consultant Contributor
Name: Kanto, Leonard E.
Type: Person
Role: Consultant
Information: State of Texas Professional Engineer; Consultant Engineer

Creator Information

  • This field is only for information about the creator listed in or directly related to the object
  • The info field is not intended for biographies or lengthy descriptions of the agent
  • It is not necessary to do research to find information; this field is only used for readily-available notes
Guideline Example
  • Include information that clarifies the role of the creator
  • Include other relevant information known about the creator that relates to the object:
    • Additional forms of the creator's name
    • Addresses
    • Birth and death dates
    • Organizational affiliations
    • Other information associated with the name
  • For an agency, the info may include persons associated with the organization who did not have another role in the item

(If an authorized form of the name is used, it is not necessary to repeat the details)

Ph.D.; Texas A & M University Real Estate Center

"By his son, the late Wilson Gregg" (d. 1899)


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Experiment Stations; W. O. Atwater, Director
  • Format information appropriately:
    • List each name, fact, or statement individually and separate them with semicolons or periods
    • Use sentence form when relevant or when taken directly from the object
    • Quotation marks may be used when quoting information directly from the object
Speaker; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

"Member of the Association of American Directory Publishers"

Other Examples


  • Name: Farrar, R. M.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author


  • Name: North Texas Laboratory School
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Author

  • Name: Mays, Sharon
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Editor
  • Information: Co-Editor

  • Name: Wyss, Margaret
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Editor
  • Information: Co-Editor

Genealogical newsletter

  • Name: Texas State Genealogical Society
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Author

  • Name: Pryor, Frances
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Editor


  • Name: Geological Survey (U.S.)
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Author
  • Information: U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; J. W. Powell, Director

  • Name: Dutton, Clarence E.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: Capt. Clarence E. Dutton U.S.A. - Author of “Tertiary History of the Grand Canon District”
  • Name: Blades, J. R.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Compiler
  • Information: Clerk, District Court, Henderson County


  • Name: Seurat, Georges, 1859-1891
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Artist
  • Information: French

Research report

  • Name: Moris, Marlene C.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: McMurdie, Howard F.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: Evans, Eloise H.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: Paretzkin, Boris
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: Parker, Harry S.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: Panagiotopoulos, Nicholas C.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: International Centre for Diffraction Data

  • Name: Hubbard, Camden R.
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Author
  • Information: National Measurement Laboratory, National Bureau of Standards, Washington D.C.


  • Name: Hill, Robert Thomas, 1858-1941
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Cartographer
  • Information: “By Robert T. Hill”

Opera score

  • Name: Smith, Julia, 1905-1989
  • Type: Person
  • Role: Composer
  • Information: Music by Julia Smith

Laws of Texas

  • Name: Texas (Republic). Secretary of State.
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Compiler

City directory

  • Name: Morrison & Fourmy Directory Co.
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Compiler
  • Information: Compilers, Publishers and Proprietors

Committee report

  • Name: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Business and Industry.
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Author


  • Name: Dallas (Tex.). Police Department.
  • Type: Organization
  • Role: Photographer
  • Information: Staff photographer


  • Name fields are connected to the UNT Name App, which will try to match text against local authority files. Editors should always choose an authorized form from the list if it is available.
  • The creator field is not constrained by the AACR2 practice of limiting creators to three or fewer names. Include as many creators as are readily available.
  • If the creator and the publisher are the same, repeat the name in the Publisher element.
  • Individuals or organizations with lesser responsibility for creation of the intellectual content of the resource should be recorded in the Contributor element instead of the creator element. Some examples of contributors are collector, donor, section editor, etc.
  • The creator roles come primarily from MARC relator codes; not all of the Library of Congress roles are included in the UNT system and several local codes have been added to the UNT list.


More Guidelines: