If two name headings' display forms are not unique, the headings 
can't both pass the NACO heading comparison rules. I agree that in 
principle the headings don't actually need to differ, and in practice 
systems could manage the differentiation on the fly based on LCCN 
differences--but identical headings would not be permitted under the 
current rules. The rules can and should be changed to support the 
policy John Hostage recommends.

Or maybe John is suggesting something more radical--strip all new 
personal name headings back to $a, let systems use LCCNs to 
differentiate them, and find other ways to display information about 
a person to aid heading selection. That would save us the mountain of 
maintenance that adding death dates is heaping up for us. On the 
other hand, OCLC's automated effort to control headings is ignoring 
names with only a $a, so maybe that's not the best way to establish them.


At 01:44 PM 5/13/2008, you wrote:
>All that's needed to make UPNAs go away is a policy change to create 
>a name authority for each unique person or bibliographic 
>identity.  It doesn't matter if the display form of the name is not 
>unique; what matters is linking to the specific record that is 
>identified by its record number (e.g. LCCN).  We're going to do this 
>eventually.  Why not sooner rather than later?
>We have a system to maintain headings on PCC records; it's called 
>controlling the headings.
>>As was noted in the discussions of RDA at Midwinter, the need for 
>>UNPAs could evaporate if there was an allowance for using some 
>>exceptional device (e.g., a neutral sequence number--"001," "002," 
>>etc.) to differentiate identities when none of the standard 
>>differentiating data (date, fuller form, etc.) are available. It is 
>>actually very rare that the different identities referenced by an 
>>undifferentiated personal name authority cannot be distinguished. 
>>What's lacking is an allowable addition to the heading to 
>>distinguish the headings for the differentiable identities from one another.
>>Lastly, I agree with Mary Charles Lasater's note on this 
>>topic--authorized once doesn't mean authorized indefinitely. We 
>>need a system to maintain headings on PCC records in OCLC, and to 
>>remove the PCC label when headings are not maintained, if the PCC 
>>label is going to retain its value. Most of this work should be 
>>done automatically, and the bits that can't be (fixing links to the 
>>wrong authority, dealing with heading splits) should earn some kind 
>>of acknowledgment.
>John Hostage                  Authorities Librarian
>Langdell Hall                 [log in to unmask]
>Harvard Law School Library    +(1)(617) 495-3974 (voice)
>Cambridge, MA 02138           +(1)(617) 496-4409 (fax)

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]