I think that there is a context issue here that must be addressed before the
question can be completely answered.
If this were a series of deeds transferred from a government office, then
the Registrar of Deeds might well be the <origination> for the series or
If the deeds comprise a series of legal document files from the office of a
lawyer, then similarly the lawyer is the creator, at the series level.
A third context might be individual legal documents in collections of
diverse personal manuscripts.
In any of these contexts, I would assert that the origination of
(responsibility for) an individual document would be the individual grantors
and grantees of the deeds. One might argue that the lawyer who drafted
the deed has some secondary claim to authorship but I doubt that the law of
contracts would recognize it as more than that. The lawyer merely renders
the wishes of the parties into the proper format. A registrar who receives,
copies, and stores a deed is, at the individual document level, nothing
more than an amanuensis and caretaker.
Michael J. Fox
Acting Assistant Director for Library and Archives
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul, MN 55102-2409
[log in to unmask]
> From: Barry Cahill[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 2:00 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: question concerning creators of legal documents
> The creator is the 'office of primary responsibility' (the registrar of
> Best wishes
> Barry Cahill
> Senior Archivist, Government Archives
> NS Archives & Records Management
> Public Archives Site
> Halifax NS Canada
> >>> [log in to unmask] 10/17/00 01:32pm >>>
> Hello -
> I am encoding finding aids for the History Center of Western
> Pennsylvania and have run across a series of items which I
> am having trouble deciding how to encode. They are a series
> of legal documents, mainly deeds from the 1700s and 1800s.
> An example of the text is:
> Winebiddle, Philip.
> Lease to Thomas Smithson for house on Second Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.,
> 1831 Apr. 1
> I am putting each of these into a component with level="item". It
> seems obvious to put the "Lease...Pa." into a <unittitle> with
> the date enclosed within a <unitdate>. What I'm having trouble
> with is the creator of the deed. It seems important to set
> off the creator (issuer?) of the document from the document itself.
> One thought was to put the person into an <origination> within the <did>,
> but not within the <unittitle>. But I'm not sure whether this is a
> proper use of <origination>.
> Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.
> Kim Tryka
> EAD Partnership Student
> Digital Research Library
> University of Pittsburgh