A special attempt is being made to index the people and organisations referred to in this Catalogue, and many of the collections are indexed more thoroughly than is usual in archival catalogues.
The indexing terms, which appear in the archival descriptions under the sections 'Name of creator' and 'Name access points', are linked to individual 'authority records' containing further information about the person or organisation in question, as well as a list of other documents linked to that index term and, occasionally, details of related people and organisations.
The terms are constructed according to the 'Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place, and Corporate Names' published by the National Council on Archives in 1997. Many of these rules are common to most indexing systems, but it may be noted that in accordance with the examples in section 2.10 a person's nationality is usually only recorded if they are not British, and in accordance with section 2.5B.1 the title of the first holder of a peerage is numbered, even if they were the only holder of that title.
The rules for personal names are similar to those used by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB), which is the preferred authority for the index terms in this Catalogue, and many of the names have simply been transferred from there without alteration.
Information about people not listed in the ODNB has been derived, wherever possible, from other standard works of reference, including Who Was Who, the History of Parliament, Alumni Cantabrigienses and Alumni Oxonienses, as well as the various national biographies of other countries.
An effort has been made, however, to bring to notice many people whose names do not appear in biographical dictionaries, and a good deal of original research has been carried out to identify them. In particular it may be noted that we have tried to supply the names of those women who are identified in documents simply by means of their relationship to someone else.