All that's needed to make UPNAs go away is a policy change to create a
name authority for each unique person or bibliographic identity. It
doesn't matter if the display form of the name is not unique; what
matters is linking to the specific record that is identified by its
record number (e.g. LCCN). We're going to do this eventually. Why not
sooner rather than later?
We have a system to maintain headings on PCC records; it's called
controlling the headings.
> As was noted in the discussions of RDA at Midwinter, the need for
> UNPAs could evaporate if there was an allowance for using some
> exceptional device (e.g., a neutral sequence number--"001," "002,"
> etc.) to differentiate identities when none of the standard
> differentiating data (date, fuller form, etc.) are available. It is
> actually very rare that the different identities referenced by an
> undifferentiated personal name authority cannot be distinguished.
> What's lacking is an allowable addition to the heading to distinguish
> the headings for the differentiable identities from one another.
> Lastly, I agree with Mary Charles Lasater's note on this
> topic--authorized once doesn't mean authorized indefinitely. We need a
> system to maintain headings on PCC records in OCLC, and to remove the
> PCC label when headings are not maintained, if the PCC label is going
> to retain its value. Most of this work should be done automatically,
> and the bits that can't be (fixing links to the wrong authority,
> dealing with heading splits) should earn some kind of acknowledgment.
John Hostage Authorities Librarian
Langdell Hall [log in to unmask]
Harvard Law School Library +(1)(617) 495-3974 (voice)
Cambridge, MA 02138 +(1)(617) 496-4409 (fax)