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PCCLIST  February 2012

PCCLIST February 2012

Subject:

Re: NARs and archival collections

From:

Jerry Simmons <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 7 Feb 2012 11:46:11 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (191 lines)

To the list:

I'm excited to finally see a post where I can share my work experience.
I'm the authority cataloging team lead for the entire National Archives
and Records Administration, working out of the College Park, Maryland,
facility. Authorities for people and corporate names and a good deal of
subjects, based on NARA holdings, is my raison d'etre. We catalog
authorities centrally via online proposal forms for headings submitted
by NARA cataloging staff.

I'll echoing some of Mary Jane's points, but reiterate one in
particular. Here at NARA, I create name authorities for people who
were/are not well known, and who, in most cases, never published. I
would say that holds true for 97% of NARA's authority work. I start a
name authority by citing the archival collection first as the source of
the name. If I find the name differently in other secondary sources,
then I go with the most common form of the name and then create
references back to the form in the archival collection when warranted.
Most times, though, the name posted reflects how the person's name
appears in the archival source. I should add that in many cases, I'm
establishing names to be used as subject references as we have
relatively few personal papers and manuscript collections. The
exceptions, though, are names I catalog based on holdings of the
Presidential Libraries under NARA's administration.

Mary Jane gave some examples in her post, so I'm doing the same here.
This is just a flavor of how we cite our holdings in the first 670:

From U.S. Air Force motion picture film holdings:

Libby, Ruthven E. (Ruthven Elmer), 1900-1986

670: Cease-fire negotiations ... Korea, 1952 Feb. 14-1952 Feb. 16: |b
(motion picture footage of negotiations in Korea; scenes with vice
admiral Ruthven E. Libby)

670: Bio. dict. of World War II generals ..., 1996: |b (Ruthven Elmer
Libby; b. Dec. 22, 1900, Spokane, Wash.; d. July 28, 1986; comdr. First
Fleet, June 1958-May 1960; retired, May 1960)

Based on a photograph:

McConnell, F. C. (Frank Charles), 1898-1981
McConnell, Frank Charles, 1898-1981

670: Photograph of General J. Lawton Collins and Brigadier General F.
C. McConnell Near Fort Bragg ..., Truman Library, Aug. 17, 1951.

670: Bio. dict. of World War II generals ..., 1996: $b (Frank Charles
McConnell; b. June 21, 1898, Cicero, Ind.; d. Aug. 23, 1981;
commissioned, Coast Artillery Corps, 1921; advanced through ranks to
brig. gen., ...

Based on an artifact:

Vaughan, Elsbeth Holsig, 1879-1973

670: Mrs. Elsbeth Holsig Vaughan’s winter and summer uniforms, 1948:
$b (Elsbeth Holsig Vaughan served the American National Red Cross in a
variety of capacities between 1917 and 1945)

670: ANRC - Historical nurse files, NARA, compiled ca. 1916-ca. 1959:
$b file for Elsbeth Vaughan (b. Elsbeth Holsig Vaughan, Oct. 26, 1879,
Switzerland; d. May 29, 1973; served as nurse in the American National
Red Cross, 1917-1945)

670: Florida death index, 1877-1998, search via Ancestry.com, Jan. 31,
2012 $b (Elsbeth H. Vaughan; b. Oct. 26, 1873; d. May 29, 1973, Pinellas
County, Fla.; age 94)

Based on records of the U.S. Information Agency:

O'Connor, Edward M. (Edward Mark), 1908-1985

670: U.S. Information Agency, Office of the General Counsel, general
legal files, 1953-1957: $b Edward M. O'Connor resume (b. Aug. 28, 1908,
Buffalo, N.Y.; graduated University of Notre Dame, 1932 ...)

670: New York Times WWW site search via ProQuest.com, Feb. 6, 2012: $b
obituary: Dr. Edward M. O'Connor, 77, Former NSC staffer dies, Nov. 27,
1985 (Edward Mark O'Connor; d. Nov. 24, 1985, Buffalo, N.Y. ...)

Before attending NACO training I realized NARA would face certain
challenges, so I prepared a long list of questions and "what ifs" for my
NACO trainers. With ongoing support from the PCC staff and NACO contacts
at LC, I've managed to cross many hurdles with NARA name authorities for
non-creators. Most all of our original cataloging is contributed to
LCNAF via NACO, then on to VIAF. The PCC staff reviewed our NARs for a
few months and then granted us independence after seeing many of these
unusual 670s handled as best we could.

Thanks to Mary Jane for mentioning EAC-CPF! NARA is working with Daniel
Pitti's SNAC project (Univ. of Virginia) and will contribute our entire
name authority file for EAC-CPF (xml) markup in the coming months.
EAC-CPF is about flexibility of name headings and descriptive rules.
There's also a great deal of room for lengthy biography notes
(archivists love this) and tags for illustrating relationships to other
people and corporate entities.

I personally serve on the Society of American Archivists' technical
subcommittee for EAC-CPF and am currently involved in scholarship
selection for SAA's inaugural EAC-CPF training program slated to start
next month. Let me know if anyone has questions and I'll do what I can
to help.

Jerry Simmons
NARA Authority Team Lead
301-837-2981

NARA Authority Team Lead
Information Services
301-837-2981


>>> "Cuneo, Mary Jane" <[log in to unmask]> 2/7/2012 10:26 AM >>>
Hi Ian,

This is an interesting question, one that we have wrestled with.  I
tell our NACO contributors that the principles are the same, so the
first choice would be to base the name on usage in published sources by
the person/issued by the body.  If that isn't feasible, the archival
collection is a reference source, and we may use other reference sources
as needed.  Among the archival materials, I'd look for something that
seems "official", like the name of a photographer or company that has
been stamped on the back of a photograph, or a signature that appears to
be formal or added with some kind of deliberateness.  It's a judgment
call.  

Because it seems useful to show what was in front of us that caused us
to create the authority record, I like to cite the archival collection
(the work cataloged) in the first 670, saying [name not given] in
subfield b if that's the case.    But not everyone here agrees with me,
and it has been said recently that this is 675 information--a good
point, especially as we think about machine manipulation of all this
data.

On recording the information found, DCM Z1 (670) gives a little bit of
guidance, and says the main thing is to be clear and accurate.

Here are some citations we have made from archival collections.  Not
submitted as "best practice"-- we're just inventing!

670  Aldo Tambellini collection, 1960-1971 [motion picture], 1960-1971:
|b credits for the film Sights and sounds of youth (Aldo Tambellini,
director)
--the bracketed info is 245 |h

670  Haskell photograph collection of early American architecture
[graphic], 1834-1950: |b finding aid (photographs taken by Arthur C.
Haskell)

670  Stereographs, stereo cards, cabinet cards and cartes-de-visite
collection [at Princeton University], ca. 1860-1920: |b stereograph
recto (J.W. and J.S. Moulton, Salem, Mass.)

I come from a library/book/serial/NACO environment, which is shaping
the comments above.  Archivists may think differently about authority
work--what it is for, how it is to be done, and at what level of detail.
 You may know about the new standard SAA is launching, EAC--CPF (Encoded
Archival Context--Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families).  Hopefully
the various approaches can eventually live happily together in a linked
data environment.

Hope this provides some grist for the mill.

Mary Jane Cuneo
Harvard College Library Technical Services
(Serials cataloging)
Harvard University Library
(NACO contact)


-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Fairclough
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:16 AM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: NARs and archival collections

Dear PCCLIST readers,

When creating name authority records for individuals and bodies
represented in archival collections, do the principles differ from those
for published materials?   Of specific concern is recording data found.


Please discuss this question!  Thanks - Ian

 
Ian Fairclough - George Mason University - [log in to unmask]

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