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Couples information in Parties

Couples information in Parties

I was wondering how other institutions put married couples into the Parties module. Do they list as Mr. and Mrs. David Smith? Where does the wife's name go then? Are they listed separately? Would the woman's name go in "other names"? Thank you for your guidance.

Edited by: - 01-Jan-70 09:00:00

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Re: Couples information in Parties

Hi Nancy,
Consistent with the way EMu works currently for Parties currently is to record two individual Parties records then link them with a Collaboration Party which is then used as your 'couples' Party record to link accordingly.
Sometimes this doesn't always sit well with our users who have argued that the context of the relationship is not that well represented by a collaboration Party persay. It is a fair argument but the alternative, which is to doctor one Parties record to display the same context is more unsatisfactory. I think a fair addition further to the, long standing, one about Parties 'Histories' this might be how to properly record relationship/s eg: where, though married, the individuals have different surnames; or there is no 'formal' marriage but a defacto relationship stands; where an individual has a new relationship though the former one still requires acknowledgement, and so on. At MV we have managed this aspect (though not to elaborate on couple's status just yet) by creating a Narratives record that then links to an individual's Parties record/s. You may want to investigate this angle too. At MV we display the Narratives (link display) tab into Parties now so that there is a cue for search and insert. The Parties link display tab will display into the Narrative record too. You can still do this sort of linking but for convenience and user friendliness we included the reciprocol link display tabs.
Hope this is of some help.
Lee-Anne Raymond
Museum Victoria

Lee-Anne Raymond
DAMS Manager (Acting)
21 Posts
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Re: Couples information in Parties

At the Minnesota Historical Society, it is our practice to create a Parties module record for the husband and another for the wife. The wife's record includes her first, middle and last names (if known) in the First, Middle, and Last fields. Her married name, such as "Mrs. John Smith", is entered in the Other Names field. Her family or maiden name may also be entered as an Other Name field value, as may any nicknames or intitials. If her First, Middle, and Last names are not known, then the parts of her married name (such as "Mrs.", "John", "M." and "Smith") are entered in the Title, First, Middle, and Last fields, and nothing is entered in the Other Names field.

The relationship between the two parties is established on the Associations tab of the wife's record. The husband's Parties module record is attached in the Party field, and "spouse" is entered in the Role field. If the dates of the marriage are known, those are entered in the Start Date and End Date fields. This approach allows us to account for multiple marriages that a man or woman may have had over time, and it allows easy searching for a married woman by either her married or family/maiden name -- our Summary Data field is set to search the First, Last, Middle, and Other Names fields simultaneously, so you could find a record for a married woman regardless of where her married name appeared in any of these fields.

In general, we try to avoid using the Collaboration Party Type for any sort of association between two Parties. Currently, it is only used to deal with legacy data, where our legacy database had multiple people's names entered in a field that migrated to a single-value field in EMu.

Also, I should mention that it is one of the guiding principles of our Parties module that we strive to have a single Parties record to represent a given person, regardless of any name changes over time. The most complete, "official" or legal form of the person's name is entered in the First, Middle, and Last fields, and any other variants of the person's name are entered in Other Names.

Hope this helps.

-- Karen

Karen Lovaas
Collection Management System Manager
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Boulevard West
St. Paul, MN 55102

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