Here’s part of the authority for False Dmitry:


1000 Lzhedmitriĭ ǂb I, ǂc Czar of Russia, ǂd -1606

4000 Demetrius, ǂc Faux, ǂd -1606

4000 Demetrius ǂb I, ǂc Czar of Russia, ǂd -1606

4001 Demetrius ǂq (Pseudo-Demetrius) ǂb I, ǂc Czar of Russia, ǂd d. 1606 ǂw nnaa

4000 Dimitri, ǂc dit l'imposteur, ǂd -1606

4000 Dimitrīĭ ǂb I, ǂc Czar of Russia, ǂd -1606

4000 Dimitrīĭ, ǂc Samozvanet︠s︡, ǂd -1606

4000 Dmitri, ǂc False, ǂd -1606

4000 Dmitriĭ, ǂc Samozvanet︠s︡, ǂd -1606

4000 Dmitry, ǂc False, ǂd -1606

4000 Dymitr, ǂc Samozwaniec, ǂd -1606

4000 False Dmitri, ǂd -1606

4000 False Dmitry, ǂd -1606

4000 Faux Demetrius, ǂd -1606

670   Bolʹsh. sov. ėnt︠s︡ikl., 3rd: ǂb v. 14, p. 393 (Lzhedmitriĭ I; d. 5/27/1606; pretender to throne of Russian Czarevich Dmitriĭ Ivanovich; after fall of Boris Godunov Lzhedmitriĭ I became Czar in 1605; married E. Mnishka Marina of Poland; murdered by conspirators organized by kn. Vasiliĭ Ivanovich Shuĭskiĭ)


The authority says the access point can be used for both name and subject use. Is this the operatic character you referred to? Is it his “falseness” you’re wondering about? Though the authority is coded rda, there are no 368 or 374 fields on it, or indeed any fields between 100 and 400.


I suppose in his lifetime his “falseness” might have been a disputed point, and not knowing more about the story, perhaps he wasn’t false at all. But this seems like a case where distance in time plays an important role. Whether people who study Russian history agree or not, they are probably used to seeing him referenced as “False Dmitry,” so it’s a useful access point. But Moon, Sun Myung (Self-proclaimed Messiah), if someone were to set up the authority that way, would be needlessly offensive.  Of course I realize there would currently be no need for such a qualifier, since Moon, Sun Myung is a unique name.




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Louis Reith
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2013 8:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] subjective opinions buried in the new fields on NARs - open season?


In Mussorgsky's great opera "Boris Godunov" - based on an earlier drama by Pushkin - the "Pretender" to Tsar Boris's

throne is entitled "the False Dmitry." Yet he and his Polish consort Marina succeed  Boris to the Russian crown. I would be curious how Dmitry as an operatic character is treated in the Authority File.


Louis J. Reith

Seward, Nebraska

Retired from Georgetown University Library, Dept. of Special Collections


On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM, Ted P Gemberling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

John and everyone,
"Self-proclaimed Messiah," since it is not the same as "Pseudo-Messiah," as John and Richard pointed out, seems to be a kind of "folksonomy" term.  I would say that usually when we call someone a "self-proclaimed Messiah," we are implying that he really isn't one, but they are not strictly to be equated. A real Messiah could proclaim himself.

However, it's not the job of catalogers to decide who real and unreal Messiahs are. I think that is one principle we should observe: as catalogers we help scholars find resources, but the scholars are the ones who go through the resources and draw conclusions from them. Loaded terms should be avoided in cataloging and authority records unless they are well established by scholarship, which requires quite a bit of time.

I'm glad to see that someone removed "Self-proclaimed Messiah" from Moon's authority.

Perhaps this is an argument for using controlled vocabulary as much as possible in fields like the 374 and 368. It's unwise to cut and paste terms from sources when they might  be offensive to someone. But I still doubt that the "skinny, lovable nerd" description in a 670 is offensive. Information in a 670 isn't really categorizing someone as a 368 or 374 does.

As for Moon as a self-proclaimed Messiah, this page, sponsored by Moon's church, says he considered himself to have "completed" the work of the Messiah. But I don't think it exactly says he was a Messiah. I think it's risky to use the term for him without that precise claim.

Happy holiday!

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of john g marr
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] subjective opinions buried in the new fields on NARs - open season?

On Wed, 27 Nov 2013, Ted P Gemberling wrote:

> I think the "subjective information"  on Knotts isn't as bad as that for Moon.

  Perhaps we could hinge consideration of such 670 information on how necessary it is to identify the person being described.

> But to call Moon a "self-proclaimed [or pseudo-] messiah" is openly
> contemptuous of the church he founded.

  I wouldn't equate "self-proclaimed" with "pseudo- ."

  Actually it's quite accurate. Moon wrote a book called The Divine Principle in which he (the author, Moon) states that he (Moon) was sent from the East to be the Messiah and finish Jesus' mission. He was not declared as a messiah by anyone before that time, or before his time.

>  Though "pseudo-messiahs" is an established LCSH heading, it strikes
> me that it would only be safe to use it after a period of decades, at
> least, after the death of the person.

  I would expect that LC would only apply the term to persons generally and BEST known as such.

  Interesting point: I noticed that a key part of a common definition of "messiah" is that such a person be "anticipated" or "expected." That would not apply to Moon, but it might apply to Hernan Cortez. :)

> In a shorter time frame, the description would be controversial.

  The term "messiah" itself is, as is any religious doctrine, by its very nature "controversial", as discussion of who would kill Jesus if he returned indicates.

> I think it might be impossible to make hard and fast rules about this
> sort of thing.

  Again, I'd suggest including in 670s only information that aids in identifying the person involved. Rather than considering "subjective" data "controversial", judge it as to whether it is useful for the purpose of an authority record.

> It's a matter of "cataloger judgment", as we've long been told. But
> catalogers do need to have good judgment!

  What is more subjective than determining whether a person possesses "good judgment"?

  How about rephrasing that to suggest that a "good" cataloger be objective, and then discuss "goodness" with regard to the nature of objectivity?

  Ahem. If only we took the effort to set identifiable parameters for objectivity and required the same in politics and of the media... or is it counter to "human nature" to do so?



  John G. Marr
  Univ. of New Mexico
  Albuquerque, NM 87131
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