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

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.

Agent Names

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

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.


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.

Save It!

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.

Tutorial Video

YouTube: How To Create Agents