Generating Titles

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General DACS Guidelines for titles

Descriptive Metadata Input for Title Field

Provided by April Burnett, Sept. 2015


Letters should be given Sender, Sender Location, Recipient, Recipient Location, and Date. If that information is not given on the letter or envelope use all that is given. For business correspondence, the name of the business or organization should also be included in the title field. If an item is not dated, a circa date must be used (that is necessary for all types of items). If only a first name is given, use it. If only initials are given, use them with a space between the letters, M. H. B., not M.H.B. If a name is abbreviated, Wm, write the full name, William.

Examples of personal correspondence:

  • Letter from Mary, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Amanda Little, March 22, 1882
  • Letter from L. R. Baker, Maitland, Florida, to Amanda Harris Little, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, March 13, 1920
  • (same rules apply for postcards) Postcard from Mary, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Amanda Little, Mobile, Alabama, March 23, 1882
  • Letter from J. W. Kerr, Yazoo City, Mississippi, to Sister Mary, June 13, 1870 (Sister Mary is the only information given, “Sister Mary” is used in the title field but only “Mary” is used in the Creator and Recipient Fields.
  • Postcard from R. H., Nashville, Tennessee, to Mary Irving, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, September 17, 1873
  • Telegram from Mrs. W. C. Clarke, Augusta, Kentucky, to W. C. Clarke, care of John Little Jr., November 7, 1900
  • Letter from Charles F. Hopkins, Armstrong Brigade, near East Point, Georgia, to Friend, August 12, 1864 (this is US Civil War correspondence; include significant brigades, batteries, etc., same goes for WWI, II, etc.)
  • Letter from Abe, Waynesville, North Carolina, March 11, 1867 (here no other information is given, simply use what is there; use “Abe” in the Creator and Sender Fields)
  • Letter from West End, Alabama, to Boling, June 2, 1898
  • Letter from Tuskegee, Alabama, to Friend, April 11, 1885 (if only Friend, Sister, Uncle, etc. is given, use it and in the Creator, Sender, and Recipient Fields)

Examples of business/organization correspondence:

  • Letter from B. Friedman, Tuskaloosa Manufacturing Company, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Ellen P. Bryce, April 28, 1894 (Tuscaloosa is spelled Tuskaloosa since that is the name of a business)
  • Letter from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, to Reverend James W. Kerr, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, January 16, 1901
  • Letter from William H. Lawrence, Mobile, Alabama, to J. H. and P. A. Fitts, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, November 30, 1859 (full LC names for J. H. and P. A. Fitts are given in the Recipient Field)
  • Letter from Abbott, Johnes, and Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James H. Fitts, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, November 25, 1859


If a picture postcard has correspondence on the back, treat it as correspondence, but “picture postcards” or “postcards” will be the genre. If the picture postcard is blank with no correspondence, treat it like a photograph.

Examples of picture postcards:


At times, it may be difficult to differentiate between invoices and receipts. Most of the time invoices are on business letterhead, even if they are signed, received of…, the actual document is an invoice.

Examples of invoices:


Examples of receipts:


Examples of bills of lading:

  • Bill of lading from J. E. Pegues, Southern Express Company, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to John Little Jr., December 24, 1873
  • Bill of lading from Crawford L. Brown to William P. Swiney, Clinton Depot, Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, March 22, 1844 (


Examples of financial statements:

  • Statement of cotton sales of Baker, Lawler, and Hammond, Mobile, Alabama, in account with A. C. Hargrove, January 6, 1868
  • Statement of cotton sales for the account of General H. D. Clayton, Eufaula, Alabama, August 2, 1865 (
  • Statement of sales of Reuben Searcy, 1866-1868


Examples of promissory notes:

  • Promissory note from B. J. Hoole and H. D. Clayton to James W. Mabry, February 12, 1866 (
  • Promissory note from Ocea Taylor and A. S. Van de Graaff to the First National Bank of Tuscaloosa, November 28, 1902


Indentures are types of contracts made between two or more people. The title should include the names of the people involved, the location, and the date.

Examples of indentures:



Examples of tax records:

BIOGRAPHIES (unpublished)

Examples of biographies:


Examples of maps:

Newspaper clippings

Clippings should include the title of the article, author, name of newspaper, location of newspaper, and date. Not all information may be available; use what is given.

Examples of newspaper clippings:


Examples of scrapbooks:


Examples of diaries:


Certificates of deposit are bank deposit receipts.

Examples of certificates of deposit:

CHECKS (bank checks)

Examples of checks:


Examples of military passes: