Dear cataloging colleagues and policy makers,
I am glad to see this issue has been raised.
As a NACO member since 2000, our UST Library has been trying to do our
best to establish unique name headings, especially for Chinese personal
names. Before and during the process, it has been found that the so call
"undifferentiated name records" has been a burden for cataloging and
authority work. Here I would like to elaborate with a typical case.
I was trying to establish headings for "李玲, 1958-" (author of 植物生长
发育的化学控制) and "李玲, 1960-" (editor of 功能材料与纳米技术).
Before I establish NAR for them, I need to check if they are already in
the undifferentiated name record. I have to check each lines in record
n 82145370. Here is what I have found:
1001 Li, Ling
670 [Author of Shu tzu wei po tʻung hsin chung ti wei po tʻiao hsiang
chʻi] 数字微波通信中的微波调相器 / 李玲, 张金菊编著 /[no Chinese scripts
in LC and OCLC record. Found in National Library of China catalog]/
670 Author's Shu tzu wei po tʻung hsin chung ti wei po tʻiao hsiang
chʻi, 1981: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Joint author of Ho-pei sheng Ting hsien chih tʻien fu] /[Not able
to find out]/
670 Feng, H. T. Ho-pei sheng Ting hsien chih tʻien fu, 1936 (a.e.) ǂb
t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Author of Chʻi kuai ti mu pei] 奇怪的墓碑 : 数学故事 / 李凌, 晓叶
670 His Chʻi kuai ti mu pei, 1981: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Author of Wai shang tʻou tzu chʻi yeh teng chi kuan li shih yung
shou tsʻe] 外商投资企业登记管理实用手册 / 主编徐光磊， 编写李玲，
670 His Wai shang tʻou tzu chʻi yeh teng chi kuan li shih yung shou
tsʻe, 1988: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Author of Yang Hu-chʻeng ti mi shih] 杨虎城的密使 / 李伶著.
670 His Yang Hu-chʻeng ti mi shih, 1989: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Editor of Chien ming Chung-kuo pai kʻo chʻüan shu] 简明中国百科全
书 / 中国社会科学院编 ; 主编汝信 ; 副主编丁伟志, 李凌
670 Chien ming Chung-kuo pai kʻo chʻüan shu, 1989: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Joint editor of Tʻu ti ching chi hsüeh] 土地经济学 / 毕宝德主编 ;
670 Tʻu ti ching chi hsüeh, 1991: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Editor of Chung-kuo ping shu ming chu chin i] 中国兵書名著今譯 /
韩勃策划 ; 李零主编.
670 Chung-kuo ping shu ming chu chin i, 1992: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Author of Fo jiao zao xiang liang du yu yi gui] 佛敎造相量度与仪轨
670 Fo jiao zao xiang liang du yu yi gui, 1998: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)
670 [Joint author of Liu guang yi cai] 流光溢彩 : 楚国的漆器竹筒玉器丝
绸 / 许道胜 , 李玲著.
670 Liu guan yi cai, 2001: ǂb t.p. (li Ling)
670 [Author of Nü jian cha guan shou ji] 女检察官手记 : 让我们的生活远
离犯罪 / 理灵著.
670 Nü jian cha guan shou ji, 2003: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling; Liling)
Please note the following:
1. This record covers 11 authors. More than 100 authors can be added
into this record. National Library of China catalog contains 31
authority records for 李玲, one of the many forms of Li, Ling. If it is
impossible to cover all Li, Ling, why do we need a record to cover some
or all Li, Ling? What is the point of have such undifferentiated name
2. It takes time to verify all citations in an undifferentiated name
record for various reasons.
a) Some bibliographical records disappear from catalog database.
b) Some early records do not contain non-roman scripts.
c) Possible typos.
......and many more other reasons.
The above may explain that why the line "670 Chung-kuo ping shu ming
chu chin i, 1992: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)" was not taken out and put into
record n 2005065494 (Li, Ling, 1948-), line "670 Tʻu ti ching chi
hsüeh, 1991: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)" not included into record n 2003064363
(Li, Ling, 1964-). It just too time-consuming for a cataloging
librarian to check all citations in an undifferentiated name record
before establishing a new authority record. Imagine that when another
cataloging librarian have a chance to establish a record for Li, Ling,
he or she would have to check all those citations again! For this
reason I have to keep a file for the citations that I have checked.
Here is another example. When I was creating record for "Qiu, Liang,
1941-1997", I didn't stop checking when I spotted that the line "[Editor
of Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe]" in undifferentiated name record for
"Qiu, Liang". After I checked all 4 citations, I found that "Qiu,
Liang, 1941-1997" is responsible for 3 of them.
040 DLC ǂb eng ǂc DLC ǂd DLC ǂd NcU ǂd NIC ǂd OCoLC
1001 Qiu, Liang
4001 Chʻiu, Liang ǂw nne
4001 Leung, Yau
4001 Yau, Leung
670 [Author of Cheng Pan-chʻiao ...] 0鄭板橋及其詩 / ǂc 邱亮著.
670 His Cheng Pan-chʻiao ... 1977?: ǂb t.p. (Chʻiu Liang)
670 [Author of Lu feng ku shih] 爐峯故事 / [編著邱良].
670 His Lu feng ku shih, 1992: ǂb colophon (Chʻiu Liang; photo.)
670 [Editor of Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe] 香港照相冊 / 邱良主編
670 Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe, 1996: ǂb t.p. (Chʻiu Liang)
670 [Editor of Pai pien Hsiang-chiang]百變香江 = City vibrance :Hong
Kong '40s-'90s / 邱良.
670 Pai pien Hsiang-chiang, 1997-: ǂb v. 1, table of contents (Yau Leung)
It is easy to dump citations into an undifferentiated name record
without a thorough check.
My conclusion is that most undifferentiated name records are not being
helpful, for both cataloging and establishing authority records.
"If this would be easier if these were unique to begin with......"
The answer for us is also ABSOLUTELY!
In order to begin with uniqueness, we should not create name authority
record if no additional information, especially a qualifier, provided.
And we look forward to the international authority file that can contain
non-Latin script references.