One could, I think, argue that the dates in 046 and the dates in the heading refer only to the life of the person while on earth, not to the existence of his spirit in the hereafter, and I think most, if not all, users of the catalog would think of the dates in that way.  So long as we are using character strings to identify an entity, and even for display purposes in the future when we may be using identification numbers, it seems to me that the dates are still needed to identify which John Smith the spirit purports to be.


I, too, think having a link to the medium or channeler would be useful.


Michael S. Borries

Cataloger, City University of New York

151 East 25th Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY  10010

Phone: (646) 312-1687

Email: [log in to unmask]


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Moore, Richard
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 7:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Dates for Spirits


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                      

E-mail: [log in to unmask]                            








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