Organization Identifications

The JAPP will identify important organizations mentioned in documents. Some will be prominent organizations that are easy to research, while others may be more difficult.

Entering a New Organization Name

When doing document entry, just enter the organization's name in the record, do not stop what you are doing to conduct research.

When you come across the name of an organization, follow these steps:

  1. Does the organization already have a identification? If so, you are done.
  2. If the organization doesn't have an identification, does it need to be included?
  3. Create the new record.

Spell out the name of the organization, do not abbreviate. If the organization is commonly known by its initials, add them to the end of the title of the identification.


Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

League of Nations

University of Chicago Press

If the organization is a local branch of a larger organization, include the branch information at the end.


Norwegian Women's Club, Chicago, Illinois

Norwegian Women's Club, River Forest, Illinois

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kansas City

If the organization is not widely known or vague in title, add the city and state it is organized in at the end of the name.


St. Katherine's Hall, Davenport (IA)

Woman's Club, Des Moines (IA)

Woman's City Club, Cincinnati (OH)

If an organization's name is foreign, render it in English first and create a second title for the original language.


Committee of Bulgarian Women, Sofia (Bulgaria)

Comité de l’Union des Femmes Bulgares, Sofia (Bulgaria)

Should we include the organization?

Include the organization if it is:

  • On the letterhead of the document
  • An additional addressee of the document
  • An organization that Jane Addams was a member of
  • An organization mentioned in the document with more than a passing reference

Exclude the organization if:

  • The reference doesn't deal directly with Jane Addams (her sister talks about a store she shopped in)

We are going to identify all organizations of a civic, government, activist nature, all clubs and societies, and businesses if the content of the letter shows that it had significant dealings with Addams or Hull-House.

We won't include casual references to companies ("she bought a dress at Marshall Field."

Researching an Organization

Many times organizations are not named with their complete names, so it can be a little difficult to determine whether the group that you are trying to document is the same as the one already identified with a slightly different name. If you only have a partial name, such as "the League", "the national association," or "the German group," you will have to stop to do some research.

  • Look through the JAPM index's list of organization names (pp. 253-78) and in the Correspondence index itself for the complete names. You can verify spellings and order using the index as well.
  • Newspaper searches will help, especially if you have a name associated with the group, you can search both terms.
  • Archival finding aids often include organization names.
  • Online books— Google Books, Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, can all help with organization names.
  • For Chicago organizations, try the Encyclopedia of Chicago History

Entering an Organization Record

The following fields are used for organizations:

Ending Date
Biographical Text

Giving Up

If you have exhausted all resources and can't identify an organization, in the description write:

No further information about this organization has been found.

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