It just occurred to me that I should disclose something. The authority I'm creating now is for a publisher. Maybe that's a peculiar instance where the uncertainty of dates would be higher than with authors. Perhaps we can often be fairly confident an author wrote only one thing in one year, even without a reference source.

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ted P Gemberling
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:17 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] "Active" dates

I wanted to run this by people to see if they agree.

It seems to me that if we are basing an "active" date on the bibliographic records in OCLC, rather than some reference source, they should always be "approximately." It would seem risky to do otherwise since it may be that an item with a date before or after the date range may not be cataloged yet.

On the other hand, I have revised "active" dates when I cataloged a book one year later than the ending date. Do you think that if "approximately" is included, that's unnecessary? I can believe it might be for a difference of one year, but a difference of 5 would seem to call for revision. It gives a seriously misleading impression of the person's work.

Ted P. Gemberling
Historical Collections Cataloger
UAB Lister Hill Library, rm. 234B
1720 Second Ave. South
Birmingham, Ala. 35294-0013
Phone: (205)934-2461
Fax: (205)934-3545