When making an entry a person, whether the author of a work or a subject of the work, the heading will have an inverted form--last name first. First, check the name authority file. If name is not found, construct a new heading.
For example, you are describing a diary belonging to Rudolf Stockseth
Tip: Make sure to change the search type to Name Authority
You find a reference to
Stockseth, Rudolph Martinius Jensen, 1881-1943
The birth dates and death dates match up with the collection you are describing, so copy and paste into the creator and subject fields.
If you don’t find a match for the personal name in the name authorities , compose it in the following format:
[Last name], [First name], [birth year if available]-[death year if available]
One may find different versions of how a name is expressed, such as with full first and middle names, versus a nickname and middle initial. Choose the form of name that is most commonly used by an author or about a subject person.
For our (fictional) example of a Mormon pioneer named Hans Anderson, we look up the name in the authority file. You will find a match for the name that is from the right time period:
But (depending on what information we have about our person in the EAD) we may decide it’s a different person. We will want to make a new heading.
When you know the birth date and death date of your person of interest:
Andersen, Hans, 1835-1895
When you know the birth date but not the death date:
Andersen, Hans, 1835-
When you know only the death date
Andersen, Hans, -1895
Tip: Don’t automatically assume the person is the same one as found in the existing name authority.
Tip: If an existing heading lacks dates, and you don’t have dates for your person either, a little Google searching may uncover at least one date, birth or death.