When supplying associated place names in field 370 in authority records, different reference sources for information about a person's place of birth, death, or residence will handle the issue of naming a place differently, some giving the place as it was at the time, others giving the current name of the place. That means the cataloger is then left with the very tedious task of carefully reviewing all the related authority records, figuring out particular points in time where names changed in order to supply one of the several established names of a place. And to what end?
It seems like it would be far easier to take the "subject" approach of using the latest name of the place. That "subject" instruction is often right there in the authority record anyway, e.g., n 78095722 - Leningrad (R.S.F.S.R.) with its field 667 subject usage note specifying use of Saint Petersburg (Russia).
That would enable future searchers to specify that they want authors from Saint Petersburg without having to remember and also specify Leningrad. If they want authors from Burkina Faso they don't also have to remember and specify Upper Volta. If they want authors from Belize they don't also have to remember and specify British Honduras. Catalogers may be familiar with some of these changes, but I would think even reference librarians would have the same kind of difficulty here as ordinary searchers in the catalog in a future scenario where this attribute data is searchable.
A policy of place as it was at the time is difficult to follow. Consider record n 79021425 - Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Field 370 lists place of birth, Eisenach, Germany, and place of death, Leipzig, Germany. Those places haven't changed names and would be qualified by the current place anyway so that there is no problem. But, 370 $c lists the associated country as Germany, yet there was no Germany in the period of 1685-1750. I would think most people would think of Germany and would identify Bach as a German composer, so its inclusion in 370 $c seems okay. After all it ended up in 370 $a and $b anyway. However, doesn't use of Germany in 370 $c violate the practice of the name of the place at the time? Should have 370 $c has been based on the heading Saxony (Electorate) or some other place instead?
If you knew that an author was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. You would potentially have to determine that in 1970 the country was known as Zaire and use that in 370 $a instead. On the other hand, it you had a source that supplied the name of the town or city where the author is born and its name did not change, e.g., Bandundu, then that local place ends up with Congo as a qualifier in 370 $a and at odds with Zaire if the cataloger only knew the country. It seems like those should always be in step, not Zaire if you don't know the town or city, but Congo if you do.
Use of the "name at the time" places an unnecessary burden of recognizing and sorting out the name changes on both the cataloger and the catalog end user. It seems like it would be better to just use the latest name of the place.
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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2013 10:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing corp body names in 373 field
Use the form that is applicable to the period of time the person was associated with the corporate body. If it changed its name while the person was there, include both. This came up in our training in a different context - which place name to assign for place of birth, death, etc.? Saint Petersburg or Leningrad? Zaire or Congo? Bavaria (Duchy) or Bavaria (Germany)? Paul Frank instructed us to use name of the place that is applicable to the time period associated with that element.
Adam L. Schiff
University of Washington Libraries
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 685-8782 fax
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On Tue, 4 Jun 2013, Mark K. Ehlert wrote:
> I know this question was asked during our RDA in NACO training, but
> seem to have misplaced my notes that gave the answer. When applying
> corporate body names to the 373 field, is NACO practice to use the current form of name?
> Or the form that applies to when, say, a professor was teaching at the
> college (now a university--both forms in the NAF)? Neither the DCM
> nor the LC Guidelines mention this point.
> Mark K. Ehlert Minitex
> Coordinator University of Minnesota
> Digitization, Cataloging & 15 Andersen Library
> Metadata Education (DCME) 222 21st Avenue South
> Phone: 612-624-0805 Minneapolis, MN 55455-0439