I am now thinking: the proposal is to allow the *optional* addition of
If we keep the LCRI that says to include dates if they are readily
available when the name is set up, and we will continue to add dates to
resolve conflicts as they arise, then it seems that this optional
provision would be most often used to add death dates. And that is what
people seem to be talking about in this thread.
I think the reality will turn out to be that we will continue to have
large numbers of open birth dates in our catalogs, and that only the most
famous and noticeable people will get closed out anyway.
The frustration is that the current policy absolutely *prevents* you from
doing so. With the proposal at least we would be allowed to fix the most
glaring cases. Though many may now imagine that they want to do much more
Many of the changes that came about with AACR2, as I understand it, were
to relieve catalogers from the burden of doing lots of in-depth detective
work. Like the people whose full-time job was to check obituaries as
Robert Maxwell described. The reality of cataloging is that we are under
some pretty heavy pressures to produce, this reality has brought about
policies such as core records and now access-level records, not to mention
the old minimal record debate. So even with the Web, I can't imagine what
kind of workflow we would have to set up to do regular sweeps of authors
in our catalog to check to see if they have died yet!
In short, I don't think catalogers will have so much time on their hands
that they will end up producing quite the amount of maintenance work one
might imagine as a result of this proposal. Though I could be wrong.
Diana Brooking (206) 543-8405
Cataloging Librarian (206) 685-8782 fax
Suzzallo Library [log in to unmask]
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195-2900