I am trying to automate a process for documentation using python or possibly some other programming language. I need to get the item name, part number, designer and creation date from the file without opening it in Inventor. Is there a way to do this?
Cadmanto's suggestion will work if you just need it as a human, if you need it in your program you can use the "Inventor Apprentice" application to open, read, and (IIRC) modify Inventor files without the actual Inventor application. There should be information available in the Inventor programming help.
Also, as an FYI, programming type questions will get the most helpful responses when posted in the Inventor Customization forum.