I seem to recall that one of the selling points of RDA was that the rules for headings were not expected to change much, so it would be easier to integrate RDA and AACR2 records than was the case with AACR2 and AACR1. I even had the vague notion (probably unsubstantiated, wishful thinking) that except for a few cases like spelling out Old and New Testament, we'd be able to continue to use existing AACR2 authority records for both AACR2 and RDA records, with RDA rules being used to create new headings. I think the point about "quibbling" is that the important thing about an authority record is that it standardizes headings (with the help of automation) not that it meets some platonic ideal of what a heading should look like.
Our catalogs contain descriptive data constructed under many past rules. I've never heard of any attempt to standardize things like illus. vs. ill. vs. illustrations retroactively. It is a bit late to argue about the conditions for the test, but once it is over, might we consider going forward with an authority file in which RDA and AACR2 headings had equal weight, so that energies can go constructing new headings rather than revising old ones?
Amy H. Turner
Monographic Cataloger and Authority Control Coordinator
Duke University Libraries
[log in to unmask]
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Robert Maxwell
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 12:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Fw: Using existing NARs
I hardly think saying RDA guidelines and policies have been followed when creating access points in RDA bib records constitutes "quibbles about which rule sets are followed." RDA is being implemented by the other English-speaking nations, I understand, so their records will be in the file, and yes, they do contribute to NACO. Should they be required to keep using AACR2 headings in their RDA records? It seems very likely that RDA will be implemented here in the U.S., though that decision has not been made yet. Assuming we do officially implement I hope nobody will be "quibbling" that we should keep on using AACR2 forms on RDA records.
We don't insist that we continue using pre-AACR2 forms on established NARs in the LC/NACO authority file when creating AACR2 bib records. Instead, we revise the pre-AACR2 form in the existing authority record to become AACR2. Why should we not do the same-i.e., use RDA forms, not AACR2 forms-when we move into a new code?
Robert L. Maxwell
Head, Special Collections and Formats Catalog Dept.
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Deborah Tomaras
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 10:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Fw: Using existing NARs
While I understand Mr. Randall's desire to test the new cataloging rules, I
believe that he, and the others involved in RDA testing, should be aware
that their records are being used in a live database, and not a closed test
system. That being the case, they are being used by library cataloging
units populated by staffs with varying levels of cataloging knowledge and
In our library, for example, because of the volume of books passing
through, there is a copy cataloging unit that processes ELvl blank/I/4
records without checking or altering them, assuming that all information is
correct. They would not be able to tell that a name has been used that is
not authorized. Even librarians in our organization, since we are not an
RDA test site, are not aware of all differences between RDA and AACR2, so
we cannot simply "be aware of [RDA] and take whatever steps [we] need to
accommodate it" as Mr. Randall suggests.
I do not believe that using existing name authorities is somehow
undermining RDA, or making "hybrid records", as another person suggested.
In AACR2 we frequently use name forms that are in the authority file that
are not as we would have created. But we respect the integrity of name
authorities, and their vital importance in library recall. Recall is, I
believe, the point of cataloging, and what should always be considered of
primary importance, instead of quibbles about which rule sets are followed.
Deborah Tomaras, NACO Coordinator
Western European Languages Team
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
[log in to unmask]
To: Deborah Tomaras/MHT/Nypl@NYPL
Date: 10/29/2010 11:55 AM
Subject: Fw: Using existing NARs
----- Forwarded by wsiemaszkiewicz/MHT/Nypl on 10/29/2010 11:54 AM -----
Re: Using existing NARs
Kevin M. Randall
Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
Please respond to Program for Cooperative Cataloging
While I understand Deborah Tomaras' concerns, I absolutely disagree with
suggestions to use already-established AACR2 forms of name in RDA records
for the test. While on the one hand the test does "undermine authority
control", not to use RDA forms of name in an RDA record would, on the other
hand, completely undermine the test. How are we to test the results of RDA
if the set of records aren't fully RDA?
Personally, I feel that the likely outcome next spring will be that RDA
*will* be implemented. It's not that I think the test is a sham, but just
that all of the factors involved will make it pretty much inevitable. The
value in the RDA test will be in finding out how well the guidelines work,
how well the new records play with others, what options are better than
others, and just overall what would be the best way to implement RDA. (And
I fear that implementation will be horribly costly, but I also fear that if
we don't make an effort toward the future that RDA is pointing
to--especially the RDA Vocabularies and linked data--then the cost will end
up being greater.) Once we know what's what, the authority records and
related bib records can be updated as necessary.
There has been a lot of publicity about the RDA test, so most library
cataloging units should be aware of it and take whatever steps they need to
accomodate it. That includes making adjustments as needed to RDA records
their own catalogs. This may be an inconvenience for a while. But at a
time when some people are decrying the lack of research into FRBR and other
things, it would be a shame not to take this opportunity to honestly test
Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Bibliographic Services Dept.
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300
email: [log in to unmask]
phone: (847) 491-2939
fax: (847) 491-4345
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Behalf Of Deborah Tomaras
> Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 8:58 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Using existing NARs
> Ms. Kuhagen and others:
> I haven't seen any discussion about the wisdom of using RDA forms of
> in bibliographic records, when there is an already established AACR2
> authority record. It seems to me that this would cause tremendous
> international problems in all existing library databases.
> If a record is coded PCC or has ELvl blank/4/I, copy cataloging units
> accept this record as is, assuming all authority work to be done, thus
> creating errors in the catalog. And all libraries in the future, whether
> not they personally create RDA records, would likely use RDA records into
> their databases when created by others, increasing authority
> in their catalogs.
> For example, in OCLC #670738890 (coded ELvl blank and 042 PCC), Antoni
> Gasiorowski, who has an authority record without a date, is instead
> in an unauthorized form with a date, and left uncontrolled as if there is
> no heading already existing in the authority file. Locally, this would
> been accepted by our copy cataloging unit without checking headings,
> leading to a conflict with our already existing records with the
> authorized/undated form.
> I have always assumed that our primary mission, as cataloging librarians,
> is to create a coherent, efficient and correct catalog for users to
> information in. If we undermine authority control, as is being done in
> RDA test, we are compromising one of cataloging's great strengths, what
> point to when asserting that library catalogs are "better than Google"
> searching and retrieval.
> Deborah Tomaras
> Librarian II
> Western European Languages Team
> New York Public Library
> Library Services Center
> 31-11 Thomson Ave.
> Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
> (917) 229-9561
> [log in to unmask]