I think that the technical aspects of this question have been capably answered by the collective wisdom: qualify the cross reference to avoid conflict and avoid revising headings, BFM, etc.

Billie's mention that the author must be 90+ reminded me of a story:

When I worked in another cataloging section of LC, a co-worker had a conflict problem with a CIP she was cataloging. The publisher did not have further details on the author, but was certain that this author was much older than the author with whom there was a conflict, and gave my colleague the author's home phone number--which turned out to be in her part of the Midwest.

My colleague agonized over the correct time to call (Too early and they'll think it's an emergency, too late and they'll think it's a slaesman) and called at the time appropirate for Midwest phone ettiquette. She got the author's wife, who was quite understanding and gave her birth date, middle name, etc., and they chatted a bit about a local festival, basketball, and crops. As they were about to hang up, my colleague blurted out a sudden thought, "Oh! Is your husband still alive?"

She immediately realized what she'd said, turned several shades of red, and started apologizing.

Those of us in the office could hear the wife laughing through the phone. The wife finally managed to say, "That's all right, dear. He's old, but he's not that old."

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Billie Aul
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 14:25
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: [PCCLIST] Consulting the Collective wisdom 

Dear Collective Wisdom, 

I'm trying to establish a John F. Thompson. 

Here's what I know about my guy. Usage on OCLC: John F. Thompson Headings on OCLC: Thompson, John F.; Thompson, John Frederick; PhD from Harvard: 1934

Worked in municipal bonds, probably still alive, I have a possible phone number in Manhattan (but he's probably over 90 and I'm not anxious to call) 

Here's what's on the authority file 

NLM's record (LC #2005180468, Oclc ARN 06577422)

100 Thompson, John, FRCS
400 Thompson, John F. (John Frederick)
670 ... consultant surgeon ...  b. Dec. 29, 1957 

What I want to do is add the birth date to the 400 in the existing record, but not add it to the 100 (which will look really odd anyway with the qualifier) and then make my guy Thompson, John F. (John Frederick) with no date. This seems the most straightforward. Nobody does BFM. However, the qualifiers wouldn't be in parallel  (not that
they are now).

Or I could make Thompson, John, FRCS a 400 and make the surgeon's name Thompson, John (John Frederick), 1957- 

Or I could try to track down my 90+ year old guy in Manhattan and try to get his birth year. 


Billie Aul
Senior Librarian
Technical Services and Systems
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY  12230
(518) 474-8610
[log in to unmask] 

Anthony R.D. Franks
Team Leader, Cooperative Cataloging Team
Library of Congress
202-707-2822 (voice)
202-252-2082 (fax)