As a music cataloger, I thought I'd comment on Mary's questions about the
benefits and disadvantages of phrasal qualifiers on NARs.
Music catalogers find these phrases to be useful. In establishing names of
performers, it is a benefit to us as catalogers and to our catalog users to
be able to differentiate between Anne Smith the violoncellist and Anne
Smith the violinist on a recording. Patrons are often looking for
recordings of specific performers, and this clearly delineates them,
whereas an undifferentiated NAR would mix them together. Qualifiers are
also crucial in allowing the creation of name/uniform title NARs, when the
composer name would otherwise be undifferentiated. We only use the
qualifers when there is a conflict and no dates are available.
There are, however, some drawbacks. The primary one is that those
(imaginary) Anne Smiths above, may, in fact, be the same person. It does
happen. I once was cataloging a disc of slack-key guitar (Hawaiian) music.
The sole performer was Daniel Ho. I found a NAR for "Ho, Daniel, pianist",
who was also a performer of Hawaiian music. The possibility they were the
same person was fairly high, but I wasn't about to put a heading like that
on a CD of guitar music! Luckily, Mr. Ho had kindly provided his email
address on the disc container, and I was able to ask him directly. Turns
out it was the same person and he was amused, having appeared on that
previous recording when he was 15, and offered me his date of birth as a
qualifer. If I had not been able to contact him, I would probably have to
suppose they were different people, thus potentially creating 2 NARs for
the same person, or, if I was more certain, changing the qualifier to the
more vague "musician". This happens particularly with conductors, who are
also often performers or composers as well.
This isn't so difficult to deal with within the music world, but not all
musicians do music as their day job, or their music training may be only
part of their current job. A musician may also be a computer programmer, a
writer, or an actuary, and they may publish in their other field.
Electrical engineers, especially audio and acoustic engineers, may also
have graduate music degrees, and have composed or performed music. So,
sometimes, the qualifier can pigeonhole someone to the extent that it
causes confusion rather than clarity.
Another slight drawback is that there can be some disagreement on the terms
used as qualifiers. Within a restricted field such as music, qualifiers
tend to be fairly obvious, but there have been disagreements over whether
it is "flutist", "flautist", or "flute-player". Lists are possible, of
course, but they can never be exhaustive.
These pitfalls are generally manageable within the realm of music
cataloging, but it might be more difficult if the practice was extended.
However, for music catalogers the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.
At 07:18 AM 2006/11/06, Stephen Hearn wrote:
>I too second Mary Charles' recommendation that we move toward rules that
>will allow all personal NARs to be differentiated. In addition to the
>maintenance headaches Mary Charles cites, LC's policy of moving names on
>and off undifferentiated NARs as new differentiating information appears,
>and in the process of allowing the NAR to fluctuate between differentiated
>and undifferentiated status, results in allowing a succession of unique
>identities to be authorized under the same NAR with a single LCCN. In
>effect this violates the rule against re-using an LCCN to establish a
>different entity. In most undifferentiated NARs, the paired 670s make the
>distinctions between the different identities represented fairly clear;
>it's only the restrictions on allowable qualifiers that prevent the
>different identities from being established uniquely.
>At 10:33 AM 11/4/2006, you wrote:
>>You have touched on a topic/problem that I hope we can 'do better' under
>>RDA. I would like to see us move toward using those phrases that we
>>construct as $c's with the author's name and setting these authority
>>records up that way. THEN when we find out more about the author, we can
>>change the 'distinct' AR instead of the 'non-unique AR if necessary.
>>Several years ago I mentioned in a talk at ALA that I spend too much time
>>looking for how these have changed and would prefer not to even have the
>>non-unique AR. With a linked authority system those changes can be really
>>bad with people writing books 100s of years before they were born. If
>>instead of constructing non-unique's we created individual AR's with the
>>phrases (that we already construct for the non-unique authority records)
>>and then changed that AR when we have more info, linked authority system
>>changes would automatically change the 'correct' authority record, only.
>>Much/all of the time spent looking for the changed heading that is no
>>longer on the non-unique (Is this the Tom Smith born in 1952, or 53, or
>>is it Tom T. Smith or Tom Smith, Ph.D.) would be eliminated.
>>Music catalogers already get to add these phrases and we see this type of
>>'qualification' on various web tools. What are the disadvantages? Do they
>>outweigh the benefits?
>>Mary Charles Lasater
>>--On Friday, November 03, 2006 2:21 PM -0800 "Paul J. Weiss"
>><[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>I note that the practice of bracketing data in one 670 per person
>>>in an undifferentiated name record is not actually given as
>>>policy anywhere. The MARC authority format give it as one
>>>possibility ("subfield $a may contain a descriptive term for an
>>>author enclosed within brackets "). DCM Z1 touches on it in the
>>>introduction and at 670. The NACO Participants Manual describes
>>>the practice, but our NACO reviewer at LC continues to remind me
>>>that the PM does not set policy.
>>>Do any of you _not_ follow that practice? If not, what was your
>>>thinking behind your decision? Have any of you considered some
>>>UCSD NACO Coordinator
>>>Paul J. Weiss
>>>Catalog Librarian and NACO Coordinator
>>>Metadata Services Department
>>>[log in to unmask] _______________________________________
>>Mary Charles Lasater
>>Email: [log in to unmask]
>Authority Control Coord./Database Mgmt. Section Head
>Technical Services Dept.
>University of Minnesota
>160 Wilson Library Voice: 612-625-2328
>309 19th Avenue South Fax: 612-625-3428
>Minneapolis, MN 55455 E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Head, Music Technical Services
Stanford Music Library
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(650) 725-1145 (Fax)