On Friday, October 01, 2010 11:49 AM, Tom Morris wrote:
>Is there a way to discern which name authority records represent individual people and which are just generic catch-all records for all authors who have that name?

If you have access to the raw MARC, then 008 byte 32 [1], when properly coded, should tell which authority records are unique vs. non-unique (or Differentiated personal name('a')/Undifferentiated personal name ('b')/Not applicable ('n')). Less reliably, there should also be bracketed 670s mentioning something like [Author of ____] followed by a 670 listing  ____ and giving the normal 670 information for that source. For example, see Smith, John (NAR n 86851637). However, bracketed 670s could be carried over from formerly non-unique headings now converted to unique, or could be missing from some records, so it is better (and easier) to trust the 008/32 coding to be correct (though if the record is not available in MARC, then the 670 data may be all you have).

[1] <>

I hope this helps,

Bryan Baldus
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses
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