This question is not intended to be confrontational, but I have to ask: Is the 678 field going to be expected on Day One, or is it optional?  Two related things come to mind: first, the information therein is largely derived from 670 fields, and it seems like a possible waste of time to rephrase that data, though I understand the purpose would be for public display; second, some OPACs do not display authority records, and therefore public display of this field is not an option.
       I've seen RDA authority records (or AACR2 records with added RDA elements, of course) that look like miniature biographies.  All well and good, but I wonder how many minutes (or hours?) it were required to prepare some of these voluminous records.  A fundamental purpose of ARs, as I understand it, at least in the current pre-RDA era, is to precisely identify and disambiguate, and the new approach goes far beyond what is necessary to accomplish that goal.
       As a longtime music cataloger, I see the value of the new 38X fields that could be used to limit searches to performance medium, key, and so forth, and I expect NMP (NACO Music Project) will eventually initiate some sort of project to add that data to work records for musical compositions.  I also do appreciate the potential use of 37X fields.   
       Some have promoted RDA by emphasizing its many options for catalogers.  If in fact the exercise of options would allow varying degrees of fullness in authority records, that would be a good thing. (I have added birth dates and so forth to many thousands of ARs over the years, so I am not lazy.)  I'm just wondering how much extra data, beyond that serving the critical goal that I've postulated, will be required.     
Chuck Herrold
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cristan, Ana Lupe
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 9:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Use of field 678 with corporate body history

Hello Adam,
FYI - the February 2012 update of the Descriptive Cataloging Manual contains information on use of the 678 field.

Ana Lupe Cristán
Library of Congress
Policy and Standards Division
101 Independence Ave.
Washington, DC 20540-4305
Tel. +1.202.707.7921
fax +1.202.707.6629
Email: [log in to unmask] 

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Use of field 678 with corporate body history

The 678 field was not used in NACO records done under AACR2.  If you look at the old MARC 21 Authority: LC Guidelines ("Blue Pages") for this field it was marked as: "NACO: Do not use this field."  The LC Guidelines are now revised and say: "NACO: May be supplied in a NAR coded 008/10 c or z."

So, the 678 can now be used for AACR2 or RDA records, but this is only a very recent change, and you won't find the examples in the MARC documentation in name authorities.

Here's a family name in RDA that has a 678: no2012067728 Romanov (Dynasty
: 1613-1917)

Adam L. Schiff
Principal Cataloger
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 543-8409
(206) 685-8782 fax
[log in to unmask]

On Wed, 23 May 2012, Ian Fairclough wrote:

> PCCLIST readers,
> Although the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data gives an example of 
> usage of field 678 Biographical or Historical Data, I am not aware of actual usage in name authority records.   The example is:
> 678 1# $aThe Office of Geography provides research and other staff 
> services for the interdepartmental Board on Geographic Names and the 
> Secretary of the Interior on foreign geographic nomenclature.$bThe Office inherited functions and records of earlier boards and committees engaged in similar work. The earliest of these, the U.S.
> Board on Geographic Names, was created by an Executive order of 
> September 4, 1890, to ensure uniform usage throughout the executive departments of the Government ...
> I searched "Office of Geography" in the NAF and retrieved 15 NARs, but 
> none of them had a 678 field.  The one that looked like it might have been the basis for the example, "United States. ?bOffice of Geography", had this note:
> 667  The Division of Geography was created in the Dept. of the 
> Interior in 1947. In 1955 the division was renamed Office of 
> Geography. In Mar. 1968 the functions of the Office of Geography were transferred to the Geographic Names Division of the Army Map Service (after Jan. 16, 1969, Army Topographic Command).
> So field 667, a Non-Public General Note, was used rather than field 
> 678, rather than field 678, which under Field Definition and Scope has: "Usually written in a form adequate for public display."
> Did field 678 simply go out of fashion?  Has there been a technical 
> reason for its non-use?  And are there in fact any systems which could 
> take advantage of such a note to display to the public?  (Not that 
> they would, if there aren't any 678 notes in any NARs to display!)
> Ian Fairclough - George Mason University - [log in to unmask]
This email message and any files transmitted with it are intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.  Any use, distribution, copying or disclosure by anyone other than the intended individual or entity is prohibited without prior approval.  If you have received this information in error, please notify the sender immediately.