This sounds ingenious and good in theory, but I do wonder about it in practice-with a very common name there could be dozens (hundreds?) of these records to plough through, to say nothing of all the records for the same name that have dates or other qualifiers, that the cataloger will have to check before deciding either that the person he/she needs for the current item in hand is already represented on one of the undifferentiated (or differentiated) records; or that the person is not, and needs to have a new undifferentiated authority record created.
Perhaps the benefits of the proposed system outweigh this, but it is a fairly easy proposition to eyeball the 670s in an undifferentiated record (even if there are a lot); it will not be "fairly easy" if we have to go through dozens or more, record by record, deciding which one should link to the bibliographic record we're working on.
I'm also imagining how the linking process might work-after we've determined that one of the many undifferentiated records is the right one, will we again be presented with a list of (presumably unsorted) records to choose from for linking (for example, in OCLC's controlled heading window)? In any case, this would of necessity be a manual linking process, given multiple records with the same 1XX field.
And the question of how local systems will handle this is not an insignificant question. In our system, for example (Sirsi/Dynix), the authority records link to matching access points automatically; if the database contains more than one authority record with the same 1XX field, there's no way to manually tell the system which one to link the bib record to. And since the 1XX's would all be identical I can't imagine that this linking wouldn't be manual, bib record by bib record.
So either we do manual processing up front (in the proposed system) or we do manual processing later (in the current system) in the event that names get removed from the undifferentiated record. Since it's only sometimes that names get removed from undifferentiated records in the current system, but manual linking would be needed in every case in the proposed system, it seems to me that the current system might in fact be more efficient.
Robert L. Maxwell
Special Collections and Ancient Languages Catalog Librarian
Genre/Form Authorities Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 2:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Undifferentiated personal names
I personally don't see why we need to wait for RDA to implement a new
policy regarding undifferentiated personal names. Simply change the
policy to create a separate NAR for each different person. If the access
point on two personal name NARs is identical, code the 008/32 on both "b".
NACO normalization rules would need to be changed to allow two NARs to
have the same 100 field.
One of the beauties of the suggestion to establish separate name
authorities for persons with the same access point is that the separate
authorities could then be linked to the proper bibliographic records (in
Connexion, the control heading function could be used) and when the access
point is changed to differentiate it from other NARs, the right headings
in bib records would automatically get flipped in systems that used the
link. How this would work in many local ILSs is another question, but
would probably be no less a problem than what we currently have when
headings are pulled off of undifferentiated authority records.
Why wait to make this change in another 15 months or longer?
Adam L. Schiff
University of Washington Libraries
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 685-8782 fax
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