Those of us attempting to maintain and extend the authority control of our own catalogues find undifferentiated records a useful tool. If there is no data to distinguish an author, the author is added to such a record. When the name arises again, we can often tell from the record if the author's works are already represented in our database. Otherwise we would have to search the database and examine individual bibliographic records, in every case. As a half-way house, undifferentiated records improve the efficiency of the overall authority control process. I do find it frustrating when we encounter a "Record covers additional persons" note, indicating that it was created at a time when the number of authors included was limited by policy. 

As long as all authors are parked in an authority record somewhere, they can be found. Whenever we use, or add to, an undifferentiated NAR, we review all the identities within it, and can often create undifferentiated authorities from information in our own databases. Without the undifferentiated NAR, we wouldn't know there was a problem to fix. These records should be a prompt to NACO participants, indicating the need for research.

Admittedly, it's not helpful if authors are added to such records through inadequate checking, or, as is sometimes the case, added despite information being cited in the 670 that could have been added to the heading.

I would certainly acknowledge that Chinese names are a special case, given the relatively small number of traditional Chinese names that are used by very many people.

Richard Moore 
Authority Control Team Manager 
The British Library
Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546806                                
E-mail: [log in to unmask]                            

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of lbxwang
Sent: 20 May 2008 08:31
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Non-unique headings and deleted ARs (Was: Horrible record [going off on the tangent of Enc lvl])

Dear cataloging colleagues and policy makers,

I am glad to see this issue has been raised.

As a NACO member since 2000, our UST Library has been trying to do our best to establish unique name headings, especially for Chinese personal names. Before and during the process, it has been found that the so call "undifferentiated name records" has been a burden for cataloging and authority work.  Here I would like to elaborate  with a typical case.

I was trying to establish headings for "李玲, 1958-" (author of 植物生长
发育的化学控制) and "李玲, 1960-" (editor of 功能材料与纳米技术).  
Before I establish NAR for them, I need to check if they are already in the undifferentiated name record. I have to check each lines in record n  82145370.  Here is what I have found:

1001 Li, Ling
4001 Liling
670  [Author of Shu tzu wei po tʻung hsin chung ti wei po tʻiao hsiang chʻi] 数字微波通信中的微波调相器 / 李玲, 张金菊编著 /[no Chinese scripts in LC and OCLC record.  Found in National Library of China catalog]/ 670  Author's Shu tzu wei po tʻung hsin chung ti wei po tʻiao hsiang chʻi, 1981: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Joint author of Ho-pei sheng Ting hsien chih tʻien fu]  /[Not able to find out]/ 670  Feng, H. T. Ho-pei sheng Ting hsien chih tʻien fu, 1936 (a.e.) ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Author of Chʻi kuai ti mu pei] 奇怪的墓碑 : 数学故事 / 李凌, 晓叶
670  His Chʻi kuai ti mu pei, 1981: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Author of Wai shang tʻou tzu chʻi yeh teng chi kuan li shih yung shou tsʻe] 外商投资企业登记管理实用手册 / 主编徐光磊, 编写李玲,
670  His Wai shang tʻou tzu chʻi yeh teng chi kuan li shih yung shou tsʻe, 1988: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Author of Yang Hu-chʻeng ti mi shih] 杨虎城的密使 / 李伶著.
670  His Yang Hu-chʻeng ti mi shih, 1989: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Editor of Chien ming Chung-kuo pai kʻo chʻüan shu] 简明中国百科全
书 / 中国社会科学院编 ; 主编汝信 ; 副主编丁伟志, 李凌
670  Chien ming Chung-kuo pai kʻo chʻüan shu, 1989: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Joint editor of Tʻu ti ching chi hsüeh] 土地经济学 / 毕宝德主编 ;
柴强, 李铃副主编.
670  Tʻu ti ching chi hsüeh, 1991: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Editor of Chung-kuo ping shu ming chu chin i] 中国兵書名著今譯 /
韩勃策划 ; 李零主编.
670  Chung-kuo ping shu ming chu chin i, 1992: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Author of Fo jiao zao xiang liang du yu yi gui] 佛敎造相量度与仪轨
/ 李翎编著.
670  Fo jiao zao xiang liang du yu yi gui, 1998: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling) 670  [Joint author of Liu guang yi cai] 流光溢彩 : 楚国的漆器竹筒玉器丝
绸 / 许道胜 , 李玲著.
670  Liu guan yi cai, 2001: ǂb t.p. (li Ling) 670  [Author of Nü jian cha guan shou ji] 女检察官手记 : 让我们的生活远
离犯罪 / 理灵著.
670  Nü jian cha guan shou ji, 2003: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling; Liling)

Please note the following:
1. This record covers 11 authors.  More than 100 authors can be added into this record.  National Library of China catalog contains 31 authority records for 李玲, one of the many forms of Li, Ling.  If it is impossible to cover all Li, Ling, why do we need a record to cover some or all Li, Ling?  What is the point of have such undifferentiated name records?

2. It takes time to verify all citations in an undifferentiated name record for various reasons.
a) Some bibliographical records disappear from catalog database.
b) Some early records do not contain non-roman scripts.
c) Possible typos.
......and many more other reasons.
The above may explain that why the line "670  Chung-kuo ping shu ming chu chin i, 1992: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)" was not taken out and put into record n 2005065494 (Li, Ling, 1948-), line "670  Tʻu ti ching chi hsüeh, 1991: ǂb t.p. (Li Ling)" not included into record n 2003064363 (Li, Ling, 1964-).  It just too time-consuming for a cataloging librarian to check all citations in an undifferentiated name record before establishing a new authority record.  Imagine that when another cataloging librarian have a chance to establish a record for Li, Ling, he or she would have to check all those citations again!  For this reason I have to keep a file for the citations that I have checked.

Here is another example.  When I was creating record for "Qiu, Liang, 1941-1997", I didn't stop checking when I spotted that the line "[Editor of Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe]" in undifferentiated name record for "Qiu, Liang".  After I checked all 4 citations, I found that "Qiu, Liang, 1941-1997" is responsible for 3 of them.

040  DLC ǂb eng ǂc DLC ǂd DLC ǂd NcU ǂd NIC ǂd OCoLC
1001 Qiu, Liang
4001 Chʻiu, Liang ǂw nne
4001 Leung, Yau
4001 Yau, Leung
670  [Author of Cheng Pan-chʻiao ...] 0鄭板橋及其詩 / ǂc 邱亮著.
670  His Cheng Pan-chʻiao ... 1977?: ǂb t.p. (Chʻiu Liang) 670  [Author of Lu feng ku shih] 爐峯故事 / [編著邱良].
670  His Lu feng ku shih, 1992: ǂb colophon (Chʻiu Liang; photo.) 670  [Editor of Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe] 香港照相冊 / 邱良主編
670  Hsiang-kang chao hsiang tsʻe, 1996: ǂb t.p. (Chʻiu Liang) 670  [Editor of Pai pien Hsiang-chiang]百變香江 = City vibrance :Hong Kong '40s-'90s / 邱良.
670  Pai pien Hsiang-chiang, 1997-: ǂb v. 1, table of contents (Yau Leung)

It is easy to dump citations into an undifferentiated name record without a thorough check.

My conclusion is that most undifferentiated name records are not being helpful, for both cataloging and establishing authority records.

    "If this would be easier if these were unique to begin with......"

The answer for us is also ABSOLUTELY!

In order to begin with uniqueness, we should not create name authority record if no additional information, especially a qualifier, provided.  
And we look forward to the international authority file that can contain non-Latin script references.


Xiaolei Wang
Cataloging Librarian

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