Quoting "Beall, Jeffrey" <[log in to unmask]>:

>> Library authority records are very odd beasts, and that oddity comes
>> out in FRAD [1]. The record is NOT about the person, per se. It does
>> not include information like birth and death dates, where the person
>> lives or lived, what they were famous for...
> To be precise, many library authority records do contain birth and  
> death date information.

I don't know if you are referring to the year information added to  
name (Smith, John, 1876-), or to other information in the record. The  
years may be present in the name heading, but only when needed to  
distinguish between similar names. This turns out to be confusing to  
non-librarians, who wonder why we have the years on some but not all  

More information will appear in notes for human readers sometimes, but  
the authority record does not have a field for birth/death dates.  
Dates in the notes are not coded as such, so are not equivalent to  
actual date information. For example, here is a note from Barbara  
Cartland's authority record, in which her death notice is included to  
back up the addition of "-2000" to her name:

670	__ |a Washington post, 22 May 2000: |b obit. (Dame Barbara  
Cartland, 98, died May 21, 2000; in London; author of 723 books  
published in 36 languages; born Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland in  
Birmingham, England; married Alexander McCorquodale 1927, divorced  
1933; in 1936 married Alexander’s cousin, Hugh McCorquodale; 1991 Dame  
Commander of the British Empire; author of non-fiction as well as  
romance novels; step-grandmother of Princess Diana of Wales)

or in this case, where the note shows that the birth year was taken  
from "p. 4 of cover" (not sure what that means...) and gives the place  
of birth:

670	__ |a Cecil Rice, Venice, sunlight and water, 2006: |b p. 4 of  
cover (Zoe Cooper; b. 1963 in Leamington Spa, England)

While the notes MAY have some birth/death information, it's not a  
machine-usable form of that data. There is a lot of really good  
information in notes, but it's just not coded in a way to be usable  
for any kind of computation, which is a real shame.


> Jeffrey Beall
> Metadata Librarian / Assistant Professor
> Auraria Library
> University of Colorado Denver
> 1100 Lawrence St.
> Denver, Colorado 80204
> (303) 556-5936
> [log in to unmask]

Karen Coyle
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ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet