Unfortunately, it is more than "slightly more complicated than that." It is actually much more complicated than that. There are multiple instructions in RDA dealing with titles of nobility. RDA 22.214.171.124 provides instructions about treating the title of nobility as part of the preferred name element . RDA 126.96.36.199 provides instructions about recording the title of nobility for the element "title of person," which is not part of the preferred name. There is also RDA 188.8.131.52 but that only applies to titles in the United Kingdom peerage, so that doesn’t apply to this person.
So how do you figure out whether to apply 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11? The answer is that you have to know about titles of nobility in the country the title was given in, and practices vary widely in different countries and ad different times within the same country. For those us who don't know these things because we grew up in a country without nobility and we had no occasion to learn about the European peerage in school, this is very difficult. The Wikipedia article on "nobiliary particles" is a good place to start because it explains the use of particles in names and titles in various European countries and provides links to other articles about nobility: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobiliary_particle.
There is also the issue of whether the title was used in manifestations associated with the person or in reference sources. We have some evidence of use in reference sources, and 18.104.22.168.2, says "In case of doubt, add the title." So we do at least know that we should add the title in the authorized access point for the person in this case.
Then there is the issue of the language in which the title was conferred. The BNF says this man was born in Paris (http://data.bnf.fr/12822073/albert_de_pourtales/) but gives Switzerland as his country. Multiple sources said he was from Neuchâtel., Switzerland. I’m mentioning this because Neuchâtel is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland as Kathie noted below. Britannica says that the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) determined that Neuchâtel should have dual status as "a canton of the reorganized Swiss Confederation and, at the same time, a hereditary principality belonging personally to the king of Prussia but separate from the Prussian kingdom." Based on this information, I think a cataloger could spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to determine what language the title was conferred in without having a definitive answer.
RDA doesn't tell you what to do when you don’t have a definitive answer to the question of language for the title, and you also aren't going to get a definitive answer from any LC/PCC documentation about what to do when you have an authority record with the 667 message, and you aren't certain If the 1XX form is correct. However, there is an overall principle for what to do with 1XX forms when we cannot be sure if they are correct, we know that there have not been changes to the instructions related to that 1XX form, and there hasn't been a name change or something we can or should add like a date of death or the term "Saint." That principle is that we assume it is correct because in an authority file with over 10 million records, we must be practical. With that in mind, I have updated this NAR without changing the 100 form, including recoding it to RDA and providing more references. We spend a lot of time agonizing over the authorized access point form, and that's important because most of our systems are very reliant on strings, but the main reason we do authority work is to help the user find the resources they are looking for. So if we have provided sufficient variant access points, it doesn't matter as much what our authorized access point it (assuming your system will actually redirect users if they search a variant).
I am sure if I have missed something or made a mistake in the NAR, not only will it be corrected, but someone will be kind enough to post to the entire listserv about it so everyone will know.
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Kathie Coblentz
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2018 2:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Upgrading Pourtalès, Albert, Count de, 1812-1861 to RDA
On Mon, 6 Aug 2018 18:48:43 +0000, Shorten, Jay <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Have I interpreted the rules correctly in thinking that the RDA form of nr2002006081 ARN 5701685 Pourtale s, Albert, c Count de, d 1812-1861 is Pourtale s, Albert, c Graf von, d 1812-1861 based on 22.214.171.124, Follow the personal name with the term of rank in the language in which it was conferred and the title was given by the Prussian king Frederick the Great? I suppose in theory the title could be Comte if the title was granted in French, but Neue Deutsche Biographie uses Graf .
I believe you are correct, though it's slightly more complicated than that. Albert von Pourtalès was a Prussian diplomat. He happens to have been born in Paris and died there, but his family were Huguenots who had fled France in the 18th century. They were based in Neuchâtel, which is in the Francophone part of Switzerland, but at the time it belonged to Prussia. Frederick the Great ennobled the family in 1750, but that just gave them the right to use "von," not a title of nobility.
The title of count (Graf in German) came later. It was conferred on Albert's father and his father's two brothers by another Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III, in 1814. Just before then, for a few years, Neuchâtel had in fact been a French principality, having been ceded to France during the Napoleonic Wars; Prussia reacquired it after the first Peace of Paris in May 1814.
It was presumably in this context that Albert's father (as the NDB also tells us) had been made a French count (comte) five years before he became a Prussian count. However, I don't see any evidence that the son used this title.
As an aside, since the equivalent of "count" in the English peerage is "earl," "count" wouldn't really be an appropriate addition to a name under any circumstances, would it? (Assuming it's a legitimately acquired term of rank, not a nickname as in William James "Count" Basie.) I get why it is in this older heading, though; the work cited in the first 670 is "On the western tour with Washington Irving," and the usage there is "Count de Portalès."
Kathie Coblentz | The New York Public Library Rare Materials Cataloger Special Collections/Special Formats Processing Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
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My opinions, not NYPL's