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On Tuesday, May 6, 2003, at 12:12  AM, Marc Truitt wrote:

> These functions are at the very heart of modern cataloguing rules and
> have been for well over a century.  They are quite apart from MODS or
> MARC and should not be confused with them.  MODS and MARC are merely
> reflecting in code these longstanding approaches to organizing
> bibliographic information.

Thanks for your list.  But again, I'm not questioning the "functions";
I'm saying they can be better coded in MODS.

Let's look at this:

> 1 Smith, John, 1618-1652 Selections 1660
> 1 Smith, John, 1618-1652 Selections 1673

OK, here we seem to have two unique names for the same person.  Why?
Shouldn't there only be one name listing for each person?  (This is not
a trivial point, I might add, because if I am looking for all the
records from a given author, I cannot ever be sure I have found them
all, because they are commonly stretched across entries and they're
rarely clearly labeled in my catalog at least).

What if instead, this name was coded like this:

<name type="personal">
        <namePart type="given">John</namePart>
        <namePart type="family">Smith</namePart>
        <date type="birth">1618</date>
        <date type="death">1652</date>
        <description>poet</description>
</name>

And the search result gave me:

Smith, John             poet                    1618-1652

That would allow me to unambiguously find which "John Smith" I was
looking for.

Or alternately, the search interface itself allowed me to identify all
the holdings of poets born between 1600 and 1625?

(And an even larger question: we have the DOI to uniquely and
unambiguously identify digital objects; why not names?)

Bruce