Please reconsider the capitalization decision you made.
The term of rank “baron” should not be capitalized in the record you are re-coding to RDA, since Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier is French.
You need to check two places in RDA to ascertain that baron should not be capitalized in this case, but it is a logical progression:
1) RDA Appendix G (TITLES OF NOBILITY, TERMS OF RANK, ETC. ) lists baron as a term of rank in France
2) You then need to consult RDA Appendix A (CAPITALIZATION) to see whether or not this term of rank is capitalized in French
3) RDA Appendix A.40 covers French capitalization
4) RDA A.40.4, Titles of Persons, says: “Do not capitalize titles indicating rank or office: le roi; le ministre; le pape Léon X.”
5) Since we determined in RDA Appendix G that baron is a term of rank, and since Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier is French, you would apply this sentence from A.40.4, resulting in baron not being capitalized
I can see where you might have gotten off track—you are right that in Appendix G the terms of rank in the United Kingdom peerage are not capitalized in the display, but they are given here as terms only, just for identification. In order to determine whether or not you need to capitalize the term of rank for an English person, you have to consult Appendix A.11.5 for English, and there you will find that you do capitalize the term Baron. But since the person you are working with is French, Appendix A.11.5 does not apply; A.40.4 applies instead.
So, baron with lower-case “b”
You might want to let the PCC list know about this, too!
Acting Coordinator, NACO and SACO Programs
Cooperative Programs Section
Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division
Library of Congress
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Hi Kate & Callie,
Thanks to both of you for providing information. Before I posted my initial email, I had looked at Appendix G and also Appendix A. Kate mentioned that the title is capitalized if it's British but in Appendix G both France and United Kingdom have it as lower case. I had also looked under French In Appendix A but there was no mention of terms of nobility, only Titles of Persons which doesn't seem to specifically apply.
Although examples at Rule 184.108.40.206 clearly show Baron as capitalized I didn't think any of the examples were for persons of French lineage. I found a number of RDA NARs in the naf that did not capitalize baron so I began to second guess what the proper course should be. I think I will just follow Rule A.11.5.1 and go ahead and capitalized baron in the NAR that precipitated my questions.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
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Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] capitalization of royalty term baron
See RDA Appendix G (Titles of Nobility, Terms of Rank, Etc.) and also Appendix A for the language involved. In this case the title is French so it is not capitalized. When the title is British, it is capitalized. That’s why the capitalization varies in the name authority file.
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
I recently had cause to use the following authority record. I plan on updating the record and removing the 667 note but I am not sure about the capitalization rules regarding the royalty term "baron". I noticed when searching the naf that sometimes the term is capitalized and sometimes it's not. I couldn't find an RDA rule or explanation regarding when it should be capitalized and when it shouldn't be. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
010 n 50023126
040 DLC ǂb eng ǂc DLC ǂd DLC ǂd Uk ǂd DLC
046 ǂf 1768 ǂg 1830
1001 Fourier, Jean Baptiste Joseph, ǂc baron, ǂd 1768-1830
4001 Fourier, Joseph, ǂc baron, ǂd 1768-1830
667 THIS 1XX FIELD CANNOT BE USED UNDER RDA UNTIL THIS RECORD HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND/OR UPDATED
670 His Die Auflösung der ... 1902
670 His Joseph Fourier face aux objections contre sa théorie de la chaleur, 1980: ǂb t.p. (Joseph Fourier)
670 Lavoisier, A.L. Elements of chemistry, 1985: ǂb t.p. (Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier)