How to Create Agents
(Based on a guide initally developed by April Payne, Northern Michigan University)
Manage Data > Agents
Before Creating a New Agent
Before creating any new Agent, it is important to check if the Agent already exists in Arctos. Do this by typing in the person’s last name or the organization’s name in the “Any part of any name” box and clicking “Search”. If there are no current Agents that use that name, you are good to go. If you discover Agents with a similar name, make sure that they are different people so that you don’t create a duplicate Agent. Use the Agent “unknown” when the person or organization doing the collecting, identifying, borrowing, etc. is unknown or unclear. Please do not create new Agents such as “Collector unknown” or “Determiner unknown”. Consider using “unknown” along with the verbatim collector attribute rather than creating cryptic agents such as A.B.C. or S. Smith. If at some point in the future the full name of collector, determiner, or borrower S. Smith is determined to be Susan B. Smith for a specific set of records, add the full Agent name to Arctos and assign the records appropriately.
Create a New Agent
- Click “Create Agent” in the blue box.
- A pop up will open asking you to select “Agent Type”.
- Click the yellow box and it will drop down a menu to choose from.
- Choose the appropriate Agent type, e.g., Michigan DNR = organization, Kurt Galbreath = person.
- “Preferred Name” for person Agents should be the Agent’s full name with middle initial (e.g., Kurt E. Galbreath) and for organization Agents should be the full organization name with no abbreviations or special characters (e.g., Michigan Department of Natural Resources). Other variations of the name can be attached to the Agent after it is created, see “Agent Names” below.
- Next to “Autogenerate name components from preferred name” click the “[ if blank ]” link.
- Add in any remarks you may have and click “Create Agent.”
- You may be warned not to create versions of “unknown”. If any of the options presented as possible duplicates look like they might be your Agent, cancel the Agent creation and investigate whether your Agent already exists in Arctos. If you have selected an Agent name that includes any initial, you will receive this warning. If you are using the convention above (full name with middle initial), you can click to force creation. If you are creating an Agent such as A.B.C. or S. Smith, you may want to consider the option of using “unknown” along with the verbatim collector attribute.
- Your new Agent will appear on the right hand side of the Agent page. You can now add alternate name spellings, statuses, relationships and addresses to the Agent.
The additional fields described below can assist Arctos users in determining that they are working with the appropriate Agent. Please take the time to make each Agent’s information as complete as possible.
It is a good idea to add variations of the Agent name for which Arctos users might search. Someone may type in Kurt Galbreath, Kurt G., or K. Galbreath but the preferred name is Kurt E. Galbreath. It is especially helpful to add the full middle name if known and any suffixes (e.g., Jr., Sr.) or maiden names.
Agent status applies to person Agents. Use with caution and only if you are certain that the information you choose is correct.
Relationships are useful to connect students to instructors, spouses to each other, children to parents, people to organizations they worked for or were associated with, etc.
- Note that only one relationship can be saved at a time. If you want to add more than one relationship to an Agent, you will need to click “Save Changes” after each addition in order for the form to work properly.
Addresses and other contact information are useful for all Agents as they can provide Arctos users with contact information when questions about a record arise. Addreses are also useful for Agents who send or receive loans so that shipping and receiving address can be easily populated in loan documents created in Arctos.
Once you have entered all the information about the Agent click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the screen to save your new Agent or any edits you have made to an existing Agent.