One thing that has bothered me about this discussion has been the focus on
exceptionally well known names. I'm not sure Princess Diana and Andy Warhol
should be the models here. So, with a keyword search on "1901" and "john" I
found the following likely "undead" persons born in 1901 (setting aside
those headings with "b. 1901"):

Zimmerman, John Edward, 1901-
Wolfe, John, 1901-
Windle, John T. 1901-
Wilson, John J. (John Johnston), 1901-
Williams, Harley, 1901-
Wickham, J. J. (Joseph John), 1901-
White, John Arch, 1901-
Weismann, John J. (John Jacob), 1901-
Walsh, William J. (William John), 1901-
Walsh, J. Raymond (John Raymond), 1901-
Visser, John Arthur, 1901-
Travell, Janet G., 1901-
Tibble, John William, 1901-
Thompson, John R., 1901-
Sullivan, John W. W. (John Wadsworth William), 1901-

And so on. While I agree with the value of adding death dates to headings
like Warhol and Sartre, I can't see adding death dates to names like the
above as doing us or anyone else much good. So in changing the dates
policy, I'd ask catalogers to use their judgment to determine whether a
name is well known enough to be worth this kind of exceptional treatment.
If it's not, just add a newly discovered death date in a 670 as we've been


Stephen Hearn
Authority Control Coord./Database Mgmt. Section Head
Technical Services Dept.
University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library               Voice: 612-625-2328
309 19th Avenue South              Fax: 612-625-3428
Minneapolis, MN 55455      E-mail: [log in to unmask]