If you succeed in getting 678 (or any of the new authority fields) to display in Symphony, please let me know how it was done.

My sense is that 678 would be similar to 680 scope notes, which we are able to display.  The new 3XX fields are less clear.


From: "Robert Maxwell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:32:44 PM
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Use of field 678 with corporate body history

Some of our catalogers have been regularly using 678 in authority records to record the RDA Biographical Information (9.17) and Corporate History (11.11) elements.




no2011014458 (personal name)

n  90704959 (corporate name)


We haven’t yet revised our displays so that 678 displays to the public (Sirsi ILS), but I would think it could be done.


Robert L. Maxwell

Special Collections and Ancient Languages Catalog Librarian

Genre/Form Authorities Librarian

6728 Harold B. Lee Library

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT 84602



"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Fairclough
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 2:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Use of field 678 with corporate body history


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.
ǂb Office 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]