From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Dear Darren,

you are venturing into a subject area taught in library school: cataloguing. 
National naming conventions are not at all easy; for instance it is not 
uncommon to see names from Italy written in the reverse order lastname-
firstname, like in Hungary. It is not a language but a national question. 
This is compounded when you are supposed--at least in official documents--to 
provide some family link, like husband's last name or mother's last name or 
father's last name (patronymic). Double-barrelled names, like mine, are 
interpreted quite differently across the globe.

It is also very age-dependent, and even with sound recordings spanning only 
roughly 120 years there may be an influence. I am sure the IASA cataloguing 
rules might help get the priorities right, and then some library science 
textbooks. Present-day interest in geneaology may also have provided 

Over the years I have had good use of the following book, which does mention 
some of the above on a nation by nation basis:

Allen, C.G.: 'A Manual of European Languages for Librarians', Bowker, London 

To someone already familiar with some languages and with a basic grasp of 
grammar, this is a fascinating book that permits you to navigate (and 
catalogue, incidentally) a lot of books in strange and stranger languages. I 
would like to quote the section of Scope from the introduction (p. 1):

"It is doubtless a mark of prudence not to attempt either to order or to 
catalogue books in languages with which one is not thoroughly familiar, and 
to refuse to answer any enquiries concerning them. A critical study, in the 
company of the appropriate experts, of international bibliographies or the 
catalogues of wide-ranging libraries would convince the doubtful that any 
other course is certain to lead to the perpetration of those linguistic 
howlers whose existence is of no practical importance, but whose belated 
discovery is a source of unreasonable mortification. But there must be many 
libraries where such prudence is out of the question: even without the 
necessary expert knowledge one must accept and deal with the books for the 
sake of completeness, and risk the errors. It is with the hope of minimising 
these errors and making the adventuere somewhat less hazardous that this 
manual is written."

To your precise question: I would say that Cordio is the lastname, because 
Carlo would be so unusual as a lastname.

Kind regards,



> Dear Darren, 
> CORDIO is the last name. CARLO is the first name and MARIA is the middle 
> name (sometimes one says that we have several first names). 
> It is not unusual for people in latin-language-group countries to have 
> both two or even more middle names, just so you know. 
> Maria (or Marie in French) is a very common middle name (also for men!). 
> In everyday interpellation (and if you're on informal terms with them, of 
> course), you would call people by their first name (in this case Carlo), 
> although the official name would be Carlo Maria CORDIO. 
> In Scandinavia, however, it is more common to use both first name and 
> middle name in everyday use, than only first name. Scandinavian often have
> 2 last names, although officially one of those is considered a middle name
> (unless hyphenated, then they are considered one last name). 
> (which is a problem for me having "von Arb" as a last name, here in 
> Scandinavia, von is now my second middle name, and I'm listed in the 
> telephone catalogue as Arb, Jacqueline I Von (Isabelle being my not-used 
> middle name). 
> In many Eastern European countries, the convention is to give your last 
> name first: JANICKI Krzysztof  Pavlovich  (Pavlovich being the middle 
> name... ficticious name, by the way...)
> Confusing? These are just very general naming conventions, and by no means
> a rule. I won't even get into special cases, exceptions and nick-names. 
> Jacqueline (Isabelle) von Arb... but do call me Jac  =)
> - Director, Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound (Norsk Lydinstitutt, 
> - General Manager, MemNor Audio Archiving Services (
> - Vice President, IASA - International Association of Sound and 
> Audiovisual Archives (
> +47 51 83 40 60 (direct work)    +47 98 25 06 28 (mobile/cell)
> Norsk Lydinstitutt is a partner of the EU-project Memories (2006-09 
> D P Ingram <[log in to unmask]> 
> Sent by: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
> 22.01.2010 11:12
> Please respond to
> Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
> To
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> Subject
> [ARSCLIST] Italian names?
> Hi.
> Could an Italian speaker (or those with knowledge of Italian practices) 
> advise to assist in cataloguing...
> We've got a composer called CARLO MARIA CORDIO (all presented in caps) and
> Gooogling has not helped reveal what is the family name (so we can 
> reference that in CAPS), leaving the forenames in Title Case. I.e. should 
> it be CORDIO, Carlo Maria or MARIA CORDIO, Carlo (a double barrelled name 
> without the hyphen).
> If there's a good online reference to international naming to help further
> queries, I'd love to know :) Thanks, Darren
> On 22 jan 2010, at 07.53, Lars Gaustad wrote:
>  D P Ingram  Ab Ingram Oy 
>  darren at  
>  +358 6 781 0275 (FIN)  +46 8 5511 4995 (SWE)  +44 203 318 0599  (UK) 
>  extn 8001