>>> [log in to unmask] 4/10/2006 11:20 PM >>>
>>> The authority control lists her (I didn't know it was a "her') as Applegate, K. (Kathryn) A. (Alice) . How am I supposed to know that K.A. Applegate is the name person as Kathryn Alice Applegate? <<<
The LC authority record (n 92045317) for this person shows the following:
100 Applegate, Katherine
400 Applegate, K. A. (Katherine Alice)
500 Archer, C.,1956-
500 Benning, Elizabeth,1956-
500 Kendall, Katherine,1956-
500 Morris, Kimberly
663 For works of this author entered under other names, search also under:Archer, C., 1956-Benning, Elizabeth, 1956-Kendall, Katherine, 1956- . Also, a pseud. for Kimberly Morris, continuing the Animorphs series for Scholastic. For works of this author entered under her real name, search also under: Morris, Kimberly.
It's always fun when you have an author writing under a number of pseudonyms! For the book in hand, the statement of responsibility in the 245 field should reflect what is on the title page (Applegate, K.A.), and the main entry should reflect the authorized form (Applegate, Katherine).
But to answer your question - how do I know what form of name is correct? - that sometimes requires a little digging. First, there's the book itself - the t.p., verso of t.p., book jacket, preface, etc. Somewhere, the "K.A." may be spelled out. If the book doesn't provide any additional information, the next step is the catalog, looking for an authority record and other bib records.
If the t.p. has Applegate, K. A., I search for name authority records for Applegate, K. Not knowing from the title page what the "K" represents, this will give me the largest number of hits in the authority file to examine. Hopefully, I'll find Applegate, K.A. fairly quickly, but sometimes it takes a little time to go through the possibilities.
When I find an authority record that looks reasonable, I look at the 670 field(s) to see what other books are credited to this author. If the book in hand is children's fiction and the 670(s) also note children's fiction titles, chances are good it's the same person; on the other hand, if the 670(s) are for physics textbooks and I've got a children's literature book in hand, chances are, they are not written by the same person. The 670 field in authority records is very useful in helping us figure out if we have the same author or not. It will contain citations to specific works, but will also sometimes include information pulled from reference sources, Copyright files, publisher and/or author websites, etc.
If I search Applegate, K.A. in the authority file and find nothing similar, then I create a new authority record (if doing full or core level cataloging) or simply use the form of name found on the t.p. as the main entry (if doing minimal level cataloging).
>>> What about David Wilson? My authority control gives me Wilson, David Henry, 1937-. I can't tell if my David Wilson is David Henry Wilson. I check the LoC authority control but I can't begin to tell you how many David Wilsons (with or without a middle name, with or without birth/death dates) are listed! How do I choose what's right? <<<
That's a really tough one - you're right, there are many David Wilsons in the name authority file.
I'd follow the same steps described above - first look through the book in hand, then the catalog. If, for example, the book in hand is on elementary education, look for those keywords in a title or subject and also the personal name of David Wilson, if your system allows combined searches like that.
Another very good source at times is the Web. Do a search for "David Wilson" and "elementary education" and see what you get. Also, check the publisher's website - they may have more complete information, or may list others books by the same author, and by searching those other titles in the library catalog, you can see what form of name they are entered under.
I hope at least some of this is helpful to you.
Cataloging in Publication
Library of Congress
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Just my non-official opinion.