Would people agree that it would be incorrect to record, in 046 of a NAR for a spirit, the dates of the deceased person whose spirit is being described?

For (hypothetical) example:

046 $a $f 1790 $g 1856
1001 $a Smith, John, $d 1790-1856

is correct, because these dates of birth and death are attributes of the entity “John Smith”, whose authority record this is. John Smith was born in 1790 and died in 1856.


046 $a $f 1790 $g 1856
1001 $a Smith, John, $d 1790-1856 $c (Spirit)

is wrong, because these dates and birth are not attributes of the entity “John Smith (Spirit)” whose authority record this is. The spirit did not have dates of birth and death, and must also (purportedly) still have existed when the work was channelled. The whole point of the spirit of a deceased person (as a bibliographic entity) is that it is still around after the person has died, to write things through a medium….


Richard Moore
Authority Control Team Manager
The British Library

Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546806
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