Hi Bob -
We add birth dates for authors of theses and dissertations at Mississippi State University if provided by the student. They each complete an Author Contact Form when submitting their ETD that asks for their full name information, a preferred name, and date of birth. The preferred name and date of birth are optional fields, but many students do add the information, particularly the date of birth. This enables us to create Name Authority Records that in most cases are unique.
To my knowledge, we have not had any problems with this arrangement. If there are any concerns expressed about the date of birth being used, we ask the person if there is another way to make their name unique, such as using their full middle name. They will generally provide that, which helps us avoid having to add their information to an undifferentiated name authority record.
I hope this helps.
Bob Wolverton, Jr.
Associate Professor/Database Maintenance/Authority Control Librarian
Team Leader, Monographic Cataloging Unit
Mississippi State University Libraries
>>> Bob Hall <[log in to unmask]> 10/4/2010 9:08 AM >>>
Are there any theses catalogers on this list? I ask, as I have a question regarding birthdates. Do you add birthdates to name hdgs. for theses?
--Where do you get said information (via Registrar's office?, Vita?, CV fact sheet etc.)?
--Do you routinely add them, or do you just use them to break a conflict?
--Are there issues you confront from authors if they see this information in FirstSearch, public catalog &/or the Web? How do you handle such issues?
Thanking you in advance for your time.
Robert C.W. Hall, Jr.
Technical Services Associate Librarian
Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA 01742
978-318-3343 -- FAX: 978-318-3344 -- http://www.concordlibrary.org/[log in to unmask]