I'm extremely pleased to release the Report of the PCC Task Group on the Creation and Function of Name Authorities in a Non-MARC Environment to you for comment.  This Task Group, chaired by Stephen Hearn, was asked to think broadly and practically about identities in both an RDA and a linked data environment.  Key to the report would be the identification of changes needed to our current authority record system to support this new environment and proposed solutions to moving forward.  The report is divided into two parts, the first deals with alternatives to undifferentiated personal name authorities and the second to name authorities in a non-MARC environment.


Earlier this month, both OpCo and PoCo had an initial discussion of the report.  As you read through the three options presented in Part 1, we would like you to consider a fourth option as well.  Our discussions led us to support investigating the use of the subfield |0 (subfield zero, defined in MARC21 as “Authority record control number”) in the authority file to be able to use the LCCN when no other text element is available to differentiate the authorized access point.  This differs from option 2 in that, while it would be included in the 1XX of the authority record, the LCCN would not be a parenthetical qualifier to the formal authorized access point, but rather a subfield used to distinguish identities that share the same text string.  Because the LCCN would not be an integral part of the authorized access point itself, display within the local system would be optional. In pursuing this option, a number of tangential issues would need to be investigated such as the NACO normalization rules, the proposed use of the |0 in authority records through the MARC Advisory Committee, impacts on authority vendors, and impacts on the ILS.  In addition, OpCo and PoCo discussed various ways to break up undifferentiated name clusters and associated bibliographic records with the correct name form.  There did not seem to be an automated way to do this safely and the work that would be required to do so manually is not feasible in the current environment. Any name, of course, can be extracted from these clusters at any point on an as needed basis.


Part 2 of the report is the most far reaching.  We are currently considering how best to involve you in this discussion and hope to have an announcement to make at the PCC Participants meeting this summer in Chicago.  Thanks again to the members of this Task Group!  They had a very daunting charge and the report will help us move forward in uncharted waters.  Please share your comments with us by July 12th through the link provided below.

Report on Authorities in a non-MARC Environment: http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/rda/RDA%20Task%20groups%20and%20charges/ReportPCCTGonNameAuthInA_NonMARC_Environ_FinalReport.pdf



Survey to comment on the report: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZQQPFF 



Philip E. Schreur
Chair, Program for Cooperative Cataloging
Head, Metadata Department
Stanford University
650-725-1120 (fax)