At 09:00 AM 7/14/2005, Stephen Hearn wrote:
>And so on. While I agree with the value of adding death dates to headings
>like Warhol and Sartre, I can't see adding death dates to names like the
>above as doing us or anyone else much good.
I must disagree with my esteemed colleague on this small point. The
question of whether adding death dates will do us or anyone else any good
has left the barn. If we allow the modification of headings simply to add
death dates, then there's no way to restrict this to "useful" cases. Any
library can determine that John Withywindle is an important person whom
"everyone" at their institution knows to be dead, and proceed to change the
I hope however that the eventual policy encompasses the possibility that an
institution could add a 670 to an authority record giving a person's death
date, without also *requiring* that the institution change the heading then
or at any other time. So institutions with a good community consciousness
can keep the authority record up to date and not require all other
institutions to perform database maintenance that doesn't buy improved access.
Gary L. Strawn, Authorities Librarian, etc.
Northwestern University, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston IL 60208-2300
e-mail: [log in to unmask] voice: 847/491-2788 fax: 847/491-8306
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.