Element Name




A person or organization that has played an important but secondary role in creating the content of the resource and is not specified in the creator element.


Where Can the Contributor Information be Found?

Contributors include any person/company/organization that was involved in creating the item (but who were not primarily responsible) 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 contributors may come from accompanying or supplementary information.


How Contributor Works in the Metadata Form

1. Contributor name -- text field
2. Contributor type -- drop-down menu
3. Contributor role -- drop-dow menu
4. Contributor information -- text field

Yes - to include multiple contributors, click 'Add' to repeat all field parts

No (more information)


How Should the Contributor be Filled in?

General Contributor Rules


  • Only include individuals/organizations who had secondary responsibility for the item or who were only responsible for a portion of the work
    • Primary 'contributors' should be entered as creators instead
    • Contributors should not also be entered as creators; if they act 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 or contributor

  • Include as many contributors as are readily available
    • Place them in order of importance
    • If contributors are equally important, list them in the order that they appear
    • 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 contributor, the name, type, and role are required

  • If possible, consult an authority file to find the correct form of the name, including:

  • If no contributor information is readily available, leave the field blank


Contributor Names

Personal Names


Guideline Example
  • Enter as much of the names as are 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
McCaleb, Walter Flavius

Seastone, Charles V.

Henderson, C. L.

Fang, H.-C. Sonneck, Oscar George Theodore

Ala'i-Rosales, Shahla

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
Hastings, Mrs. F. S.

Jones, Dr.

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: Alwin, Lawrence F.
Info: CPA; State Auditor

Name: Dunlap, George P.
Info: Geo. P. Dunlap
Means, Thomas H. (Thomas Herbert), 1875-1965
  • If the same person is responsible for multiple items:
    • Enter the name as consistently as possible in every record
  • If the name changes and it is certainly the same person
    • Use the form on the item as the contributor name
    • Include the former/later name as contributor information

  • When in doubt, enter the name as it appears on the specific item
Name: Sanders, Ann

Name: Gaines, Ann
Info: 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 contributor field blank
    • Include the name of the parent organization and add details as contributor information



Organization Names

Guideline Example
  • Use the names as they appear in the item for non-government or single-level bodies
  • Do not invert personal names that are parts of organizational names
  • Write out names instead of using acronyms
Camp Wolters Public Relations Branch

Julius Bien & Co.

Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study
For hierarchical agencies:
  • List the highest level agency or body at the beginning and the lowest at the end
  • 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
University of Texas. Bureau of Research in the Social Sciences.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Chemical Technology Division.

Geological Survey (U.S.)
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 in the Library of Congress Authorities
    Not: United States. National Security Council. Central Intelligence Agency.
United States. Navy. Training Division. Bureau of Aeronautics.

U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey

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
Instituto de Investigaciones Geológicas (Chile)

Mexico. Secretaría de la Economia Nacional Direccion General de Minas Y Petoleo.


Contributor Type

  • Choose the appropriate contributor type:
Guideline Example
If the contributor is an individual Person
If the contributor is a company, organization, association, agency, or other institution Organization
If it is unclear whether the contributor 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 contributor 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 contributor is a computer program that generates data or files

(e.g., A file created while a computer program was running)


Contributor Role

Entering Roles


Guideline Example
If the role is not listed:
  • Choose 'Other'
  • Include clarification in the 'Information' section
Name: Caffey, Wiley L.
Role: Other
Information: Business Manager
If more than one role applies to the contributor:
  • Choose the primary or most encompassing role (or the one listed first)
  • Explain the details in the information section
Name: Etter, Amanda Perez
Role: Editor
Information: Managing 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
Info: 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
Info: 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.
Info: 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
Info: 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
Info: State of Texas Professional Engineer; Consultant Engineer


Contributor Information


  • This field is only for information about the contributor listed in or directly related to the object
  • 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 contributor
  • For composers, this includes the name of the piece
  • For journals or compiled documents, this may include the title(s) of pieces that the contributor authored
Consulting Engineer

Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in C Major, K. 548 (1788)
  • Include other relevant information known about the contributor that relates to the object:
    • Additional forms of the contributor's name
    • Addresses
    • Birth and death dates
    • Organizational affiliations
    • Other information associated with the name
(If an authorized form of the name is used, it is not necessary to repeat the details)
Judge Sam'l A. Roberts

LMSW; Manager, Purchased Health Services Unit

"The Route to Capitalization: The Transcendent Registration Exemptions for Securities Offerings as a Means to Small Business Capital Formation"

Houston, Texas
  • 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
    • Use quotation marks when quoting information directly from the object
Rev. R. G. Mood, M.A., D.D.; Secretary and Editor of the North Texas Conference

"Under Four Flags on Texas Soil, By A. Garland Adair, Editor, The Mexia Daily News"



Other Examples

Name: Ben C. Jones & Co.
Type: Organization
Role: Printer
Information: "Printers, Electrotypers and Binders, Austin."

Name: Richards, Olan
Type: Person
Role: Editor
Information: Art Editor

Name: American Beauty Cover Company
Type: Organization
Role: Artist

Name: Abilene Printing and Stationery Company
Type: Organization
Role: Printer

Name: Thurman's Studio
Type: Organization
Role: Photographer

Name: Southwest Engraving Company
Type: Organization
Role: Engraver

Journal issue
Name: Baldwin, Dan
Type: Person
Role: Editor
Information: Assistant Editor

Name: Riddle, Peggy
Type: Person
Role: Editor
Information: Assistant Editor

Research Report
Name: Texas Water Development Board
Type: Organization
Role: Sponsor

Name: Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (Tex.)
Type: Organization
Role: Funder

Name: Upper Guadalupe River Authority
Type: Organization
Role: Funder

Name: Headwaters Groundswater Conservation District
Type: Organization
Role: Consultant

Name: Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District
Type: Organization
Role: Consultant

Name: Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District #1
Type: Organization
Role: Consultant

Name: Kerr County (Tex.)
Type: Organization
Role: Consultant

Name: Kendall County (Tex.)
Type: Organization
Role: Consultant

Name: United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Educational Services Section.
Type: Organization
Role: Distributor
Information: [United States.] Navy Dept. BuPers. Educational Services Section.; Navy distribution. Washington, D. C.

Name: Harrison, Richard Edes
Type: Person
Role: Cartographer
Information: Base map for "Pacific War in the Air" drawn by Richard Edes Harrison. Copyright, Fortune.

Name: United States. Office of Strategic Services.
Type: Organization
Role: Cartographer
Information: Map of South Burma and Thailand "prepared in the R and A Branch, O.S.S."

Collection of legal papers
Name: Wilhelm, Ronald
Type: Person
Role: Chair or Major Professor
Information: Major Professor

Name: Ausbrooks, Carrie Y.
Type: Person
Role: Committee member
Information: Minor Professor

Name: Cowart, Melinda
Type: Person
Role: Committee member

Opera score
Name: Harding, Bertita
Type: Person
Role: Librettist

Name: Ballenger, Kenneth L.
Type: Person
Role: Author of introduction, etc.
Information: Prof. Kenneth L. Ballenger; Author of synopsis (page ii).



  • 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 contributor field is not constrained by the AACR2 practice of limiting creators/contributors to three or fewer names. Include as many contributors as are readily available.
  • Input entities responsible for digitizing an existing resource in the Institution element instead of the contributor element.
  • Individuals or organizations with greater or complete responsibility for creation of the intellectual content of the resource should be recorded in the Creator element instead of the Contributor element. Some examples of creators are author, editor, compiler, etc.
  • The contributor roles come primarily from MARC relator codes; not all of the Library of Congress roles are included in the UNT system and several have been created which do not come from the relator codes.




More Guidelines: