Additions and adaptations to the University of Edinburgh Archives' Authorities Database

  • Kirsty Stewart (Creator)



The University of Edinburgh Archives' Authorities Database was established before the Carmichael Watson Project began its third phase in July 2009. The database contained authority files for people, places, families, corporate bodies and subjects and in order to meet the needs of the Carmichael Watson Project a sixth area for genres was added. During the project, 3227 index entries were added to the database, although existing entries were edited and used in the catalogue too. The number of index entries created for each area were:
The Library of Congress Subject Headings, UK Archival Thesaurus and School of Scottish Studies Indexing Terms were consulted when creating terms. Family, personal and corporate names were created using the ISAAR CPF standard (International Standard Archival Authority Record For Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families) and National Council on Archives (NCA) Rules for the Constructionof Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Where known, patronymics were given for individuals. Places were indexed using Ordnance Survey maps available through, using the spelling given by the most recent map. Where appropriate, Gaelic/English equivalents were given for place names using Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba/Placenames of Scotland database (, Ordnance Survey maps, 'The Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary' by Edward Dwelly and Stòr-Dàta Briathrachais Gàidhlig as sources for spelling. If a place was identifiable on a map, a geo-reference [using the format xx.xxxxxx; -yy.yyyyyy] was added to the authority file, allowing maps to be displayed alongside index terms. As far as the project is aware, the use of geo-referencing within authority files has not been done before. This database is continually being used by the University of Edinburgh Archives' cataloguing staff.
Date made available2009
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh

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