TITLE field

The title field is required for all items. Don't use [brackets] in titles—they impact alphabetical sorting.


The format for titles is author to recipient, date (spelled out).

Jane Addams to Theodore Roosevelt, August 29, 1912

Jane Addams to Whom It May Concern, December 5, 1923

Secretary to Jane Addams to Theodore Roosevelt, February 4, 1924

For documents, the sender's and recipient's name should be indicative of their marital status at the time the letter was written. For example, Irene Osgood Andrews was married in 1910, so:

(1900-1910) — Irene Osgood to Jane Addams
(1910-1935) — Irene Osgood Andrews to Jane Addams

Note that in the Creator field and in the title of Osgood's biography entry, we always use the most complete name available, regardless of the marital status at the time of the document's creation:

Note that sometimes the name that we have in the Person record is slightly or very different from the name that the microfilm editors used. Go with our name unless it is an issue with a name change due to time frame (see above)

If someone is writing a letter on behalf of someone else, only put the author's name in the title. The person they are writing on behalf of can be added in the Creator field

If the name on the digital image does not match the name given in the Item Relations data, use the Item Relations data name. The only time we don't do this is in the case of married names. Look particularly for instances where the microfilm uses an initial, or "Mrs. R.W Smith."


The format is title of the article, speech, or statement, date (spelled out). Do not put quotes around titles—it messes up the alphabetical search

Effect of Familiarity, September 5, 1907

Elective or Appointive School Board, February 1, 1906


In the title of a speech, the date should be the date that the speech was given, not the date the speech was published.


Whether the document calls it an agreement or a contract or something else, title all these as:
"Contract between Jane Addams and x"
"Contract between the Hull-House Association and x"

Always put Addams as the first party, or if an organization, always put the Addams org (ex. Hull-House, WILPF, etc.) first.


If the article is also a speech, the title should include the date that the speech was given.

If the article is not a speech, the title should include the date the article was published.

Summaries, Excerpts, and Fragments

  • If a document is not complete, add the text (fragment) to the end of the title.
  • Newspapers often summarize an Addams speech with occasional quotes. Add the text (summary) to the end of the title to distinguish it from more complete versions.
  • When a shortened version of a document is published, add (excerpt) to the title.

Multiple Titles

Sometimes, especially when they are speeches, you might have more than one title to choose from. If Addams addresses the Chicago City Club, the microfilm might have indexed it as "[Address to the City Club]." If we search newspapers and find that it was advertised as The Importance of Industrial Education from the Social Standpoint" we can enter two titles. Choose the one that the newspaper reported on rather than the descriptive title as the first title. The other will appear beneath it on the public site as "also known as"

For more on [[[Speeches-and-Articles | speeches and articles].


The format is Diary Entry, date (spelled out)

Diary Entry, June 16, 1902

Diary Entry, December 4, 1934

Titles for People, Organizations and Events


On all people we want to identify the first and middle name, birth last names, and any additional married names.

Additional middle names will only be added to the title if the person used them, either in full or as initials.

Abbott, John William Cruikshank (1864-1940) signed his letter as J. W. C. Abbott.

The title format is Last Name, First Name Middle Name and dates if we have them in parenthesis.

Dodge, Caroline L. (1869-1923)
Allen, John Winthrop Linn (1905-1982)

If the first and middle names are initials, use a space between

If we are missing parts of a name—use a placeholder with what we have until we completed the research.

Blackburn, Mr. (British writer)

Bets, Mrs. (sister of Anna Jones Linn)

Blackman, Mrs. (prospective visitor to Hull House)

Lucy (Hull House client)

Hang-Watter?, Luise


When a person has a non-standard nickname, you should include that name in the title after the first name and before the dates:

Murray, Patrick J. "Fish" (1859-1933)

Foreign names

Figuring out how to render a foreign name can be tricky. The Chicago Manual of Style (pp. 389-392) has some tips on order, capitalization and other issues. Do note that these rules should not be applied to Americans whose names start with particles unless you see that they are following the rules. Generally treat American names of Dutch, German, and Spanish descent as they are written.

German "von"

Particles in German names (von, und, zum, vom, van) are always lower case. because these names are usually indexed without the particles, we will put them at the end of the name (see von Stockmar, below).

Dutch "van"

Particles in Dutch names are usually lower case unless only the last name is used. They are part of the name, and should be indexed with the Van, Von, De in the front.


Spanish "de"

Particles in Spanish names (de) are lower case and are not used in indexing, so we will render them at the end of the first/middle names.

Torquemada, Tomas de

Multiple names

Sometimes people or organizations have more than one name. It might be a person's title, a pseudonym, a different spelling (and we cannot verify what it should be), or a change in an organization's title after reorganization, merging, etc. You may enter a second title in these cases.

For Kings, Queens, Prince/esses where they don't have surnames, we are including their royal title first, and then any other names as a second Title

For other nobility that have actual birth names, we will use the birth name as the first title and the noble titles as additional titles. This way if their title changes we can add more than one.

For variant spellings:


For pseudonyms, if the person is mostly known by the pseudonym (ex. Mark Twain), we will use that as the primary title, and indicate the person's real name as the secondary. If the person is best known by their real name and they have also written under a pseudonym, we will use the pseudonym as the second name.

Herrick, Robert Welch (1868–1938) Also known as Smith, Austin
Twain, Mark (1835-1910) Also known as: Clemens, Samuel Langhorne

In complex cases, as below, Bonfils was the maiden name, she wrote articles under a pseudoynm, and after her marriage ended she reverted to her maiden name:


(And we are just making an exception for Mary Augusta Ward, who wrote as Mrs. Humprhy Ward, because we want to!)

Foreign organizations will usually get two titles— one for the organization name in its own language and a second for a translated name.


For entries that have been recognized by a religious order as a Saint, we will enter them as "Name (Saint)" or "Last name, First name (Saint)"

Christopher (Saint) (?-251)
Francis of Assisi (Saint) (ca. 1181–1226)


Some organizations changed names over time, and we want to be able to find them no matter what name they used. You can use multiple titles, just be sure to track the progression in the bio text and select the one that makes the most sense.

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