I run into this problem very often (breaking name conflicts and differentiating name authorities), and unless I actually find two authors with the same birth date (it happens!), I usually only add the qualifying information for the author whose work I am cataloging. However, in one case where I had to differentiate two authors with the same name (J. Kent Crawford), I found when I recently searched the name on Worldcat.org that the names were still undifferentiated in that environment, and that their works are presented on Worldcat.org as coming from the same author. BTW, I know the BFM in LC was done using the differentiated names, and when cataloging in OCLC the names are also differentiated, so I wonder why the two different authors are treated as the same person in Worldcat. Does anyone know why that should be happening?


Ann C. Davidson

Contract Cataloger

Project Management Institute

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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Moore, Richard
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] RDA - additions to distinguish personal names


I  am sending this again, as there seems to be some doubt as to whether it got through, the first time ;-)



I'm interested in hearing any views on the following approach to RDA, as it relates to distringuishing identical personal names. says:


Make the additions specified under if they are needed to distinguish the person from another person with the same name. says:


Add the date of birth (see 9.3.2) and/or date of death (see 9.3.3), if necessary, to distinguish one access point from another.


and the following sections have similar wording.


It seems to me that it would be perfectly valid to apply these rules by qualifying both access points when a conflict arises. In the past we've only considered it necessary to qualify one of them on LC/NAF, and in multiple cases have often left one name unqualified.  Also, we have not considered a new unqualified name to conflict with an existing access point that uses the same preferred name with a qualifier. However, nothing in the rules quoted above demands that we qualify only one of a pair of conflicting names. 


I think that  past practice has caused problems, because incorrect bibliographic records for oth the wrong people keep attaching themselves to the unqualified headings, especially in catalogues such as ours, that have large numbers of legacy records and also import a lot of metadata.  


This happens often with names that are well-known; for example n 2009007346 "Blair, Tony" refers not to our erstwhile prime minister, but to a theatre perfomer from the 1940s; whereas the access point for the former premier has dates.


It would be much more useful to aim to qualify all personal names used by more than one person whenever a conflict arises, especially once undifferentiated records have been done away with.  


For new RDA NACO authorised access points for personal names, we could seek to qualify the access point if another authorised access point, or heading in our own database, already exists, and uses the same preferred name, whether or not the existing access point is itself qualified. 


I'm not suggesting for the moment that we should change an existing authorised access point in the LC/NAF purely to add a qualifier when no actual conflict exists.






Richard Moore

Authority Control Team Manager

The British Library


Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546806                      

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