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On Wed, 9 Feb 2000, Adam Schiff wrote:

> > It would be an
> > additional great savings of time if we could have some kind of code or
> > marking to indicate at least that the 7XX's were valid, as they are
> > multitudinous on records for videorecordings-- I'd *love* not to have to
> > keep checking, especially those names I vaguely recognize from other
> > videos I processed not long ago.
>
> The only problem with this is that authority records get changed all the
> time, meaning that headings that were valid today may not be valid
> tomorrow....
>
> What this means is that you can
> only infer that the headings on a record labeled PCC (or some other symbol
> to indicate the headings are established) were correct AT THE TIME the
> record was coded PCC.

I heartily agree with Adam that coding fields in bibliographic records to
indicate authorized heading forms is an exercise in frustration and
ultimately useless.  If anyone remembers, OCLC's practice in the early
1980s, on the couple of occasions they ran the LC name authority file
against their database, was to include a $w noting that specific fields
were valid headings.  These markings were later removed since they became
increasingly unreliable with the passage of time.  I still miss some of
the machine-created bloopers from those matchings, such as a miscoded
"His Opera omnia" suddenly becoming "U.S. Congress. House. House
Information Systems. Opera omnia," and a misspelling of Jimmy Stewart
morphing into "James I, King of England, 1566-1625."  We've come such a
long way in machine-assisted authority control since those days.

Margaretta Yarborough                                    [log in to unmask]
Acting Head, Catalog Dept.                              919/962-9693
Davis Library CB# 3914                            919/962-4450 (fax)
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC  27514-8890