3.2.1 Name of Creator(s)
Purpose: To identify the creator (or creators) of the unit of description
Rule: Record the name of the organization (s) or the individual(s) responsible for the creation, accumulation and maintenance of the records in the unit of description. The name should be given in the standardized form as prescribed by international or national conventions in accordance with the principles of ISAAR(CPF).
The archival concept of creation/provenance is a complicated one, and it becomes even more complicated once you start bringing in the idea of authorship as recorded in the file level metadata in many digital documents. Theoretically it would be great to be able to automatically capture the ‘creator’ or ‘author’ of born digital material but what non-archive systems mean by and the way in which they apply such terms is not the same as what archivists mean when they talk about the ‘creator’. The unexamined question has long been to what extent capturing the ‘name of the creator’ or even multiple names of creators actually helps to maintain the sort of provenancial and contextual information archivists want to preserve. We might have been able to fudge a workable compromise in the analogue environment, but it remains to be seen how our aims can be best met in the digital environment. For the time being therefore, it might be best when placing born digital material within existing arrangements, to try to mimic past practice in what is presented (possibly relying on inheritance from higher levels), whilst perhaps capturing automatically any existing file level metadata for the ‘creator’ with a view to working out if it might be meaningfully translated into the archival context.
"We might have been able to fudge a workable compromise in the analogue environment, but it...This is a great summary. I particularly love this comment:
"We might have been able to fudge a workable compromise in the analogue environment, but it remains to be seen how our aims can be best met in the digital environment."
This is such an important point and potentially applies to various different aspects of catalogue data: dates, titles, reference codes, etc. When something has to be human-curated, archivists create what we think is both truthful and helpful. In an environment, where we can and should be automating a lot of the process, the result is less subtle. Show more 2 years ago