To address this part of the issue, it depends entirely upon exactly who ones patrons are, exactly what type of information they are seeking, and what type of information and service you have to offer.

If, for example, you are doing genealogical or biographical research on persons who are not professional authors or on members of families where the same names are repeated generation after generation, then birth and death dates are practically essential, especially when dealing with unpublished or unique sources.  If you are looking for best sellers, reading assignments for class, or anything where the person is well-known (for the time being), then they are probably a nuisance.

The same thing holds true for corporate names.  If you are seeking information for administrative, legal, or other professional purposes, again, particularly in primary sources, it might be desirable to know which of the family of Pittsburgh Coal Companies actually mined coal in Pennsylvania and which operated a storage yard in Wisconsin, or that the pre-1930 Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was an entirely different building about a half mile away from the post 1934 building of the same name. 

It is actually true for SARs as well, which are largely generated by what people are writing monographs about and which lack the precision helpful to persons looking for work-related, precise information, for example, on all sorts of specific models of aircraft, computers, automobiles, firearms, etc.  A person looking for photos, plans and specs of the Metroliners of 1969-83 will not care about the TGV or the Acela, which are several generations of technology later, yet all are lumped in SAF under "high speed trains."  I just finished the description for a 1,000 linear foot archive of a famous interior decorator, who happened to be gay, yet while there are headings for gay people in some occupations, there is no heading for "gay interior decorators."  The same for other combinations of type of person and occupation.

We happen to have the finest collection of French Revolutionary pamphlets on this side of the Atlantic.  They used to be carefully periodized, until someone somewhere decided that there would be a single heading for the entire decade, so we were obliged to throw about 1,000 titles into the same SAR pot, a considerable disservice to our patrons and reference staff, but not so much when you only have a handful of monographs.

Describing and providing easy access to items in a "library" of several thousand unpublished technical or professional reports is a very different kettle of fish from categorizing and retrieving published serials, even when they may be artificial compilations of the same type of thing. 

Christopher T. Baer
Assistant Curator
Manuscripts & Archives
Hagley Museum and Library
P.O. Box 3630
Greenville, DE 19807-0630

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of CHRISTOPHER WALKER
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] undifferentiated corporate name authorities

Re-opening only to amend: 

Personal name headings distinguished by birth/death dates, are, of course, frequently useful to patrons and information seekers, especially for relatively common names where a date range can offer a place to start winnowing the index.  

Corporate name headings and SARs, not so much. 


----- Original Message -----
From: "CHRISTOPHER WALKER" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:53:26 AM
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] undifferentiated corporate name authorities

I can't agree with my distinguished colleague (Hi, Kevin!).
I am having trouble imagining any scenario under which any patron or information seeker will find it useful to encounter separate headings that recognize a distinction between otherwise identical headings that have the same corporate subordination.  

We seem to be headed into an era when the master authority record will be expected to evolve into an encyclopedia entry presenting all sorts of information that is not essential for distinguishing similar names (such as the gender associated with a personal name, or geographical associations that change during a person's career).
When I was NACO-trained, the impulse to do that was beaten out of me, but so be it. 
In an RDA-inflected file, maintaining two separate headings for South Dakota's Department of [Topic] seems unreasonable. 
Notes could convey the date information. 

Users have always been confused by authorized access points that include dates. In my view, strenuous care should be taken to find some other solution, any other solution, to distinguish otherwise identical headings. 
The idea that such headings might proliferate under the new code is profoundly depressing. 

Christopher H. Walker
Serials Cataloging Librarian
Penn State's representative to the CONSER Operations Committee Chair, Ulrichs Serials Librarianship Award Jury, 2011/2012
126 Paterno Library
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-1812
(814) 865-4212
[log in to unmask]


----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin M Randall" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 7:32:20 PM
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] undifferentiated corporate name authorities

Care must be taken not to confuse two different kinds of situations:

	1.  One corporate body has changed its name, taking up a name that it has used itself at a previous time

	2.  Two or more different corporate bodies have used the same name

In the case of South Dakota Department of Public Safety, these are two different bodies, one of which was created in 1973 and abolished in 1984, the other of which was created in 2003.  It would be incorrect to use the same heading for the two different bodies.

Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Bibliographic Services Dept.
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL  60208-2300
email: [log in to unmask]
phone: (847) 491-2939
fax:   (847) 491-4345

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging 
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Hearn
> Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 4:29 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [PCCLIST] undifferentiated corporate name authorities
> RDA says that when constructing access points for corporate 
> bodies, "If the name has been used by two or more bodies that cannot 
> be distinguished by place or associated institution, add a date or 
> dates associated with the body." It includes in the examples:
> South Dakota. Department of Public Safety (1973-1984) South Dakota. 
> Department of Public Safety (2003- )
> There's no LCPS comment.
> AACR2 practice as codified in LAC RI (not discussed in LCRI) generally 
> used a single authority in such cases: "If a change in name results in 
> the resumption of an earlier form of name used by the same body, and a 
> heading has already been established for that name, do not establish a 
> new heading. Revise explanatory and other references as required, and 
> use the previously established name as the heading for new 
> publications issued under that same name." (LAC RI 24.1C)
> Our case in point is the "New Brunswick. Dept. of Fisheries," name 
> used 1963-1971, 1975-1988, and 2006-2010.  Currently the first two 
> intervals are represented by a single AACR2/DLC authority and the 
> third interval could be added to it; but these all would presumably 
> need to be distributed into three date-qualified authorities for RDA.
> Should all three RDA authorities be new and the AACR2 authority be 
> deleted, since none of the new authorized access points will be co- 
> extensive with what's represented by the AACR2 heading, or should the 
> existing authority record be revised to become one of the RDA 
> authorities?
> Should a 667 note or some other indication be added to the RDA 
> authorities explain the difference between the AACR2 and RDA 
> treatments of the name and what it represents?
> Thanks,
> Stephen
> --
> Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
> Technical Services, University Libraries University of Minnesota
> 160 Wilson Library
> 309 19th Avenue South
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
> Ph: 612-625-2328