Dear MODS Implementers,
I'm finally getting around to asking the list about a topic that I've been
unsure about for some time - how to reference the authoritative form of a
name for a famous person pictured in a historic photograph.
In the MODS User Guidelines under subject,
"If the subject string is formulated according to the Library of Congress
Subject Headings (or LC Name Authority File <http://authorities.loc.gov> ),
the value of the authority attribute is "lcsh." A subject thesaurus that
does not include names but has an implied authority for names uses the
designation for that thesaurus (i.e., "lcsh" means LCSH plus NAF)."
I've long been confused by how names as subjects are treated in MARC. The
explanation from the MODS user guidelines suggests to me MARC authority
records for names are coded in such a way as to explicitly indicate whether
that name is legal to be used as a subject in addition to (or instead of?)
as a creator. Is that understanding correct?
So what is best practice to use in MODS for a person pictured in a
photograph when they have an entry in the authority file? Always <subject
authority="lcsh">? <subject authority="lcsh"> only when the record is coded
for subject use but <subject authority="naf"> otherwise? Something else?
As may be obvious, the authority="lcsh" option for a name kind of bothers
me, especially since we use authority="naf" on <name> elsewhere.
What is the perceived best practice here? What do folks actually do in their
own implementations? Are there clarifications, changes, etc., to the User
Guidelines in order?
Digital Library Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Wells Library W501
Inquiring Librarian blog: www.inquiringlibrarian.blogspot.com