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Karen,

Exactly my question ... I don' think the changes would be that dramatic 
but whatever they are, we need to make them. The Program for Cooperative 
Cataloging will be re-envisaging its future in a linked-data environment 
at a special meeting this November.  I think we all realize that this 
change is necessary.  Authorities are a huge part of the agenda and I'm 
sure these changes to authorities will be a part of the discussion.  We 
are also proposing to allow the use of identifiers from multiple 
authority sources (VIAF, ISNI, etc. as needed) in bibliographic records. 
This would require the addition of identifiers to bibliographic 
records.  So ... change is afoot ... I'm very happy to see so much on 
the table ...

Philip Schreur
Stanford University


On 7/10/14 5:37 PM, Karen Coyle wrote:
> Adrian Pohl has a very informative blog post about the use of 
> identifiers in authorities, stimulated by his reading of Rob 
> Sanderson's document:
> http://www.uebertext.org/2014/07/name-authority-files-linked-data.htm
>
> The use of authorities to represent "preferred name" strings (as 
> opposed to representing identified *entities* who have a preferred 
> display form for human usage) appears to be an American anomaly - at 
> least among the libraries he mentions.
>
> One question we could ask ourselves, because we do have identifiers 
> for the things described in authority records, is how feasible it 
> would be to transform LC authorities to identify an entity  rather 
> than a string. Is this a few tweaks, a total re-do, or something in 
> between? My gut feeling is that it would be a behind-the-scenes change 
> that wouldn't affect cataloger usage. Does anyone else see it that way?
>
> I also wonder if we really must resign ourselves to using strings in 
> our future data because "that's what's in the MARC records." There are 
> authority control services that match the strings in bibliographic 
> records to authority records in order to update the bibliographic 
> data. That same process should be able to add authority identifiers to 
> the bibliographic records for the same matches. In fact, there are 
> vendors who will do this today. I'm sure that matching isn't 100%, but 
> I suspect that having identifiers for name authorities in our 
> bibliographic records is much less of an effort than converting our 
> data and systems to BIBFRAME. It seems short-sighted not to begin this 
> process today, before the death of MARC, rather than carrying the 
> strings forward to a new bibliographic model.
>
> kc
>