CRS Manual - Person description

Person number

Definition

A person number is a unique alpha-numeric identifier which is given to each registered person.

Purpose

The purpose of the number is to distinguish a person from all other registered persons.

Relative importance

This field must be present for all registrations (category 1).

Sources of information

The person number is assigned automatically when a new person is registered.

Standards for content

Each number consists of CP followed by a number, eg CP 1, CP 50, CP 500.

Amendments

Person numbers are protected against update.

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 1.1

Person name

Definition

'Person name' is the name of the person being registered - including surname/family name, given names, pre-nominals and post-nominals.

Purpose

The purpose of this field is to identify the person being registered and to provide the principal access point for users to retrieve the person registration and related series registrations.

Relative importance

This field must be present for all registrations (category 1).

Sources of information

Information can be obtained from primary or secondary sources by or about the person being described.

Standards for content

This attribute has four elements: pre-nominals, given names, surname, and post-nominals.

Amendments

If the person was a Member of Parliament the registration should be updated when the person leaves Parliament.

Application notes

A person's name consists of several elements:

Pre-nominals and post-nominals

These entries are for the abbreviations included before and after a person's name, including honours and awards. The pre- and post-nominals should be correct as at the time of registration of the person or when the registration is updated subsequently.

Accuracy with pre- and post-nominals is important, so check the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (AGPS) or Debrett's Handbook of Australia for the correct form, and Parliamentary Handbooks, Commonwealth Directories or Who's Who in Australia for current information.

Do not enter abbreviations for gender, social or marital status in this field, such as Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms, Esq, etc.

Pre-nominals - members of Parliament

While Senator is added, where relevant, in the Pre-nominal field, Members of the House of Representatives have MP added to the Post-nominal field. Senator and MP are only used while the person is a sitting member of either House of Parliament.

Therefore, if a person was a Senator but at the time of registration is a Member of the House of Representatives, MP is given in the Post-nominal field after his or her name and a reference to service in both chambers should be given in the Person Descriptive Note.

Pre-nominals - Honourable and Right Honourable

Commonwealth Ministers of State are ex-officio members of the Federal Executive Council (CA 2) and are described as The Hon. They retain this honorific after leaving the Commonwealth Parliament.

Members of the Privy Council were appointed by the Queen after nomination by the Commonwealth Government and although this practice has ceased, it may be necessary to refer to them in future registrations. They are described as The Rt Hon, and they retain this honorific for the rest of their lives. Care should be taken to enter The Rt Hon in their Pre-nominal field.

Thus, the Pre-nominal entry for Senators or Members would be one of the following:

Sen the Hon(for Senator the Honourable)
Sen the Rt Hon(for Senator the Right Honourable)
The Hon(for The Honourable)
The Rt Hon(for The Right Honourable)
Post-nominals

The abbreviations identifying the person's honours should be listed after the given names and surname. As a general rule, the most recent issue of Who's Who in Australia for each person gives the correct listing of post-nominals. It also contains sections detailing the meaning of these abbreviations, the order of seniority of the imperial and military honours systems and, therefore, the order to be used when citing them. Who's Who in Australia also details educational qualifications, but these should not be included as post-nominals. Honorary degrees and memberships of associations also should not be included as post-nominals.

Some honours have several grades. Reference to the higher grade should be made rather than to the lower grade if an individual has been awarded both, eg the KCMG supersedes the CMG, therefore only the KCMG would be listed in the post-nominal entry:

KCMG, DSO
Punctuation in pre- and post-nominals

Do not use full stops when expressing pre- and post-nominals. Separate post-nominals by a comma, if more than one.

Given names

Provide the given or first name(s) of the person in full, eg

Joseph Benedict

Initials can be included if the full names cannot be identified. If one or more of a person's given names was not used, indicate the name that the person was usually known by in the Person Descriptive Note.

Surnames

The surname of a person should be entered in upper case in this field, eg

CHIFLEY
McCARTHY

The entry should attempt to reproduce as accurately as possible the family name of the person.

If the person being registered is still alive, give the family name (surname) used by the person at the time of registration by the Archives.

If the person being registered is deceased, give the family name (surname) commonly used by or associated with the person during their association with the Commonwealth.

Additional or variant surnames should be provided as an Alternative Name entry including, for a married woman, the surname(s) not used professionally, if known and thought appropriate for inclusion.

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 1.2, 1.3, 2.2.2

Alternative name

Definition

An alternative name is another name by which the person is or has been known.

Purpose

The purpose of this field is to provide potentially useful information for users if the person being described was known by an alternative name, for example, pseudonym, title, alias, nickname. The Alternative Name entry is not currently an access point in the database, that is, it is not indexed, does not appear on indexes and is not a searchable field.

Relative importance

This field should be completed where applicable, to provide additional context (category 3).

Sources of information

Sources include primary or secondary sources by or about the person being described.

Standards for content

This is a text field completed in the sequence: pre-nominals, given names, surname, and post-nominals. Enter the surname, where given, in upper case. Give the alternative name in full.

Application notes

An alternative name may consist of several components:

In general, restrict the use of the Alternative Name entry to major departures from the main name.

Married name

If a person sometimes used the names of their spouses or partners, those names may be entered here, if it is considered relevant to the purpose of the registration. The form of the name can be given as it was actually used at the time, for example, a woman may have been known by the name of her husband, such as CP 38:

Person name: Adela Viola Zimmermann

Alternative name:
Adela Viola Purvis
Married name: Mrs Robert Henry Purvis 

The choice of alternative name would depend on which was used.

Pseudonyms

Persons occasionally use a pseudonym, for example, Hilda Gertrude Harnett (CP 52) was the author of articles and books under the pseudonym of Haliden Hartt, so her Alternative Name entry is:

Person name: Hilda Gertrude Harnett

Alternative name:
Married name: Mrs Charles Lydiard Aubrey Abbott
Pseudonym: Haliden Hartt
Alternative spelling of surname

Persons sometimes use different spellings of their surname. The most commonly used spelling or the spelling used when the person was associated with the Commonwealth would be entered in the Person Name field and the other versions included in the Alternative Name field:

 CP428

Person name: Robert Frederick Felgenner

Alternative name: Robert Frederick Felgenhaur
Variant or preferred given names

Persons are sometimes commonly known by variants of their given names, especially by shortened forms. In cases such as these, consider whether a user would still be able to retrieve the person registration without the variant names being provided. For example, it is widely known that Bernard may be called Bernie, Francis (Frank), James (Jim), Edward (Ted) etc. It would be redundant to include both, as in the following example:

Person name: Francis Smith

Alternative name: Frank Smith

and so the Alternative Name field should not be completed. The abbreviated version of a given name, for example, Tim, can be included in the Person Note, for example, Timothy Andrew Fischer (known as Tim) was ....

However, there may be occasions when a person does not use their given names and is clearly known by an alternative given name. In such cases, it may be useful to include an alternative name:

CP 433

Person name: Reginald Francis Xavier Connor

Alternative name: Rex Connor

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 1.5

Person date range (date of birth and date of death)

Definition

The person date range includes the dates of birth and death (if relevant) of the person being described.

Purpose

The purpose of this field is to identify the person being described.

Relative importance

This field must be present for all registrations (category 1).

Sources of information

Who's Who in Australia is a very good source of information about prominent persons. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook contains information on a person's party affiliation, length of service and the date of death of all Members and Senators since Federation.

Standards for content

The dates of birth and death should be recorded as accurately as possible. It is usually easier to find dates of birth than dates of death. Approximations to year only are acceptable.

Expression of dates

All dates in predetermined date fields are subject to validation to facilitate searching, sorting, validations and consistency in reports. It is not necessary to enter day, month and year if the full date is not known. Use a date qualifier only if the year is in doubt. (Unless notes are kept to indicate the part or parts of the date to which a qualifier applies, the use of the qualifier can be misleading, especially when just year ranges and qualifiers are presented in reports.)

Date range conventions

Start date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

Start date

1952

May 1952

23 May 1952

End date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

End date

1978

Nov 1978

23 Nov 1978

Amendments

This entry can be amended to change incorrect data, or to add a date of death after initial registration.

Application notes

If the exact dates of birth and death are not known, use a date qualifier such as, by or c (circa) as appropriate, eg

Where there is conflicting information about dates of birth or death, mention this briefly in the Person Descriptive Note.

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 2.2.3

Person Descriptive Note

Definition

The Person Descriptive Note is a concise note which includes significant information (not included in other fields) about the person being described and clarifies any information included in the fields within the registration.

Purpose

The purpose of the note is to bring together significant information about the person and establish a useful context for the user in which to understand the person's records. The note should not be a full biography of the person.

This note is also used to explain why a registration has provisional status, that is, to indicate what information is unreliable.

Do not use the Person Descriptive Note to duplicate information adequately covered in other person elements or in related series and agency registrations.

Relative importance

This should be completed for significant registrations; and may be completed in other cases (category 4).

Sources of information

Sources include primary and secondary sources by or about the person being described.

Standards for content

The Person Descriptive Note is a text field. Use simple, coherent prose to make the information as clear as possible for the user. Avoid using present tense, which may subsequently need revision. Refer to the Macquarie Dictionary, Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (AGPS) and the National Archives of Australia Style Guide. See the RecordSearch help text for formatting requirements. 

Amendments

Amendments can be made to update information within the note.

Application notes

Provide a brief history of the person's career with particular emphasis on any association with registered Commonwealth agencies and any major activities or interests that are reflected in the person's records. Include information on basic aspects of the person's education, honours, awards and publications where it is relevant to the person's records. The most significant positions occupied can also be mentioned, but do not duplicate information that is already contained in the Related Agencies attribute.

For persons with a well documented background, make reference to comprehensive sources, rather than summarising information from readily available sources.

If relevant, significant family information should be covered, including CP (Commonwealth Person) numbers if other persons mentioned are registered. This is useful if the family connection is not obvious but is significant in understanding the person's records. For example, Hubert Leonard Murray (CP 1) was the nephew of, as well as the private secretary to, Sir Hubert Murray (CP 59).

Include a list of the person's major publications if they would be a useful background or supplement to the person's records. They should be cited according to the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (AGPS). However, only include author details if a pseudonym was used or there was joint authorship, eg

Kulinma: listening to Aboriginal Australians / Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1978
Trial balance / Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1981
H C Coombs, M M Brandl, W E Snowdon / A certain heritage: programs for and by Aboriginal families in Australia / Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, 1981
Stylistic issues

In Person Descriptive Notes, use normal case for surnames - not all upper case. When referring to the person in the notes, adhere to the following guidelines:

End notes and sources

The final part of the Person Descriptive Note should contain any references or sources directly used to compile the registration (including the note).

Use either end notes or sources, or both under separate headings (where necessary). If end notes only are used, give the full citation as per the first reference method illustrated in the National Archives of Australia Style Manual. If both end notes and sources are given, list the end notes first, the sources second and use the first reference method for the sources and the second reference method for the end notes as illustrated in the National Archives of Australia Style Manual, eg

End notes
1. R Hyslop, 'The Council of Defence 1905-1939', Canberra Historical Journal, no. 27, March 1991, p. 43

or

Sources
R Hyslop, 'The Council of Defence 1905-1939', Canberra Historical Journal, no. 27, March 1991, pp. 40-46

or

End notes
1. Hyslop, Canberra Historical Journal, p. 41
Sources
R Hyslop, 'The Council of Defence 1905-1939', Canberra Historical Journal, no. 27, March 1991, pp. 40-46

Some fonts and styles may not be available in RecordSearch. In such cases, use plain text as a substitute with appropriate punctuation (the example above has no italics).

When citing archival records as sources or end notes, follow the style set out for the citations of National Archives of Australia material in the National Archives of Australia Style Manual, eg

End notes
1. National Archives of Australia (ACT): A816/1; 2/301/443

Take care when citing or providing information from records that are not yet open for public access.

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 2.2.6, 2.2.8, 2.2.9

Related agencies

Definition

Related agencies are Commonwealth Agencies with which the person being described had some form of official association, for example, as an employee, member, Minister, etc.

Purpose

The purpose of this field is to provide a link to the Commonwealth agencies with which the person had a major or close association, regardless of whether there are related personal records in custody. This is to provide possible leads to related records of those agencies. 

Relative importance

This field should be completed for significant registrations; and may be completed in other cases (category 4).

Sources of information

Primary sources include the person or their records and secondary sources Commonwealth Directories, Parliamentary Handbooks, Commonwealth Gazettes.

Standards for content

There are four elements to this entry: start date and end date of the period of relationship, agency number, agency title, and comments.

Expression of dates

All dates in predetermined date fields are subject to validation to facilitate searching, sorting, validations and consistency in reports. It is not necessary to enter day, month and year if the full date is not known. Use a date qualifier only if the year is in doubt. (Unless notes are kept to indicate the part or parts of the date to which a qualifier applies, the use of the qualifier can be misleading, especially when just year ranges and qualifiers are presented in reports.)

Date range conventions

Start date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

Start date

1952

May 1952

23 May 1952

End date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

End date

1978

Nov 1978

23 Nov 1978

 

Amendments

Changes may be required to update the persons involvement with agencies after the initial registration is done; for example, to close off a relationship if the person changes office, or transfer unregistered links to the Registered Links field if related agencies become registered.

Application notes

Restrict entries to close and significant associations with Commonwealth bodies, that is, do not indicate references to educational, community, corporate or political and parliamentary party positions. Also, avoid references to delegations, conferences, visits and nominal memberships of committees and councils. If relevant to the persons association with the Commonwealth, these associations may be mentioned in the person descriptive note. It is not desirable to register an agency for the sole purpose of documenting a relationship with a person: use an unregistered entry instead (see below).

For Members of Parliament, the agency number of the relevant parliamentary chamber(s) should be included, together with the period of relationship, that is, the persons date of election and departure from the chamber. An entry for both the House of Representatives and the Senate should be completed if the person sat in both chambers, eg

02 Apr 1966- 17 Sep 1994: CA 692 Department of the House of Representatives - Member for Kooyong (Vic)
01 Jul 1947- 24 May 1971: CA 691 Department of the Senate - Senator for Queensland

Changes of seat or Senate representation should be documented.

Ministers are assumed to be members of the Federal Executive Council - this link need not be given unless the person occupied a particular office such as Secretary or Vice President. A similar procedure is adopted for members of Royal Commissions, using the format: Name of Commission - Member, eg

Royal Commission on Espionage - Member

Be specific when identifying the person's associations with agencies. For example, a person employed by the Department of Home Affairs and Environment, State Office, Western Australia (CA3102) would be entered under that agency number and would not be listed under the Central Office of the Department (CA 3068) for the same period.

Some divisions of Departments of State (or other large bodies) have been registered as separate agencies. If a person was clearly employed by such an agency, he or she should be listed under its CA number and title, not under the CA number for the Department's central office.

After determining the relationship between the person and the agency, take note of the agency title and check the database to see if it is registered.

Acting positions

Where a person acted in prominent positions in the Government or agency, show the related agencies only if the acting arrangement was for a significant period, represented a major involvement by the person, or was characterised by a major event at the time.

Period of relationship

The period a person was associated with an agency should be given where possible. The entry consists of a start date and an end date. The start date is the date on which the person's association with the agency began, that is, the date on which the person assumed or was appointed to an office. The end date is the date on which the person's association with the agency finished, that is, the date on which the individual ceased to hold a particular office or position.

Date details for public servants and some less prominent figures are often unavailable. If full details are unavailable, enter c (circa) or by in the field which precedes the date to express a degree of uncertainty. For further detail on expression of dates, refer to the section on Expression of Dates above.

Comments

Use the Comments field in the Related Agencies entry to provide more detail about the person's association with the registered agency, including reference, where appropriate, to a division, section or area within the agency.

Use upper/lower case for the position occupied. Some people have held several positions within an agency, for example, Director, Assistant Secretary, Secretary. If you do not know separate date ranges for each position, given an amalgamated date range for all positions held in that agency. If the positions have been held consecutively, a general date range can be given for the entry and separate date ranges included in the Comments field, eg

Related agencies:
01 Jan 1950- by 31 Dec 1960: CA 5 Attorney-General's Department Deputy Secretary (1950 - 1954); Secretary (1955 1960)
Unregistered related agencies

Where the person had a close association with a Commonwealth agency that has not been registered, it is possible to show such a relationship as an unregistered link which is documented in the Unregistered Links Note.

Though the Unregistered Related Agency field is a free text field, follow the same format as for registered agencies: start date and end date of the period of relationship, agency title, and comments, eg

1956: Committee on Control and Development of the National Library - Member
1969 - 1970: Joint Select Committee on the new and permanent Parliament House Member

Relationship to ISAAR(CPF): 2.2.8

Person Unregistered Links Note

Definition

The Person Unregistered Links Note contains information previously retained on the now de-commissioned RINSE and ANGAM II databases on relationships between series and their provenance that have not been formally registered in the CRS System.

Purpose

The purpose of this note is to keep in one place the various registered relationships. Much of the information is out of date and incomplete and of minimal value to those searching for records. This note is not intended to be used for new registration activity, but to be revised and removed where appropriate.

Relative importance

This field should not be used for new registrations. This note is intended for internal staff management purposes only and is not contained in the standard descriptive reports (category 4). Important information about unregistered agencies should be included under the appropriate heading in the Series Descriptive Note.

Sources of information

Information can be obtained from examination of the records and secondary sources.

Standards for content

No new entries should be made in this note. If a new entry is considered necessary for internal management purposes, then it may be more appropriate to create an Archivist Note. An entry in the Archivist Note should include the name of the relationship, followed by the years and a title or a comment.

Related agency: 1956 - 1967, Joint Standing Committee on Television licences

Amendments

Entries should be checked to assess whether registration has occurred, in which case the entry here should be removed.

Application notes

This is a text note, so no validation is made on the entries. The information that has been entered from other fields will have minimal formatting. This note is not intended to support additional information, rather the notes should be checked and removed as either duplicate or irrelevant information, such as schooling and careers, not associated with the Commonwealth or the records transferred.

Relationship to ISAD(G):

Archivist Note

Definition

The Archivist Note is an electronic note for file to record management decisions about the Archives' relationships with a Personal Records depositor. This note is intended for internal staff use only.

Purpose

The purpose of this field is to record decisions at Commonwealth person level that might affect overall relations, rather than specific series or items. Each of the notes is treated as a transaction and cannot be altered once it has been committed. Therefore, it will enable documentation of our relations with the depositor over time. The note is not intended to contain sensitive information, rather management information of minimal value to those outside the Archives.

Relative importance

The notes are essential to record non-standard relations about the depositor, perhaps relating to access matters, referrals regarding access, caveats. The field should be completed if necessary (category 2).

Sources of information

Sources include discussions between staff and the depositor.

Standards for content

This is a text field, using functionality of general word processing packages and mark-up language tools. There are no subheadings within this note. Check spelling and punctuation carefully before saving, as others will read or make reference to the note over time.

Amendments

Once a note is saved to RecordSearch against a Commonwealth person number, it cannot be amended. A further note must be created for additional information. Check notes carefully before saving to ensure that there are no errors. A person registration could well have several Archivist Notes attached to it over time. The note can be copied to create an additional note for similar issues that relate to another Commonwealth person, but once it is then saved it becomes a separate note.

Application notes

Apply discretion in identifying what information about the relations with a Commonwealth person would be of general interest, and therefore contained in the Descriptive Note, and what is of internal management use only, and would be contained in the Archivist Note.

Transactions that may require an Archivist Note include:

Relationship to ISAD(G)

 

Registration standard

Definition

A registration standard is a value that marks the extent of control under the descriptive standards of the CRS System.

Purpose

The purpose of the field is to give an indication of the extent of trustworthiness of the information contained in the registration.

Relative importance

This is an optional attribute, but essential if information is circumspect (category 2).

Sources of information

Examine secondary sources for information.

Standards of content

For person registrations, there is only one value to indicate a registration standard  other than one that is standard :

Amendments

The status of provisional registrations should be reviewed (and updated where possible) six to twelve months after initial registration, resources permitting.

Application notes

A provisional registration indicates that there is some uncertainty about specific aspects of the description, that is, the information cannot be confirmed. The independence of the person may be circumspect, or it has still to be confirmed that the person, while legitimate, did not exist under another name.