I agree with Charles conclusion, though perhaps my reasoning is a little different.


The way I see it: the purpose adding information fields to name authorities is to facilitate identification of the individual being described by the authority. We use LCSH for this because it's readily available and because in general a term harvested from a controlled vocabulary is better suited to retrieval than an uncontrolled string.

But that does not necessarily mean we are doing subject cataloging of individuals. The purpose of these fields is NOT to retrieve a set of records that match a subject query. (I'm not saying it can't be done, or will never be done, only that it's not the main reason we are doing this.) Therefore, it is not strictly speaking "subject usage". So when presented with a choice between to controlled terms, we should pick the one that  is most "identificatory" of the individual whose name is being placed under authority control.


To put it a little differently: Danzig and Gdansk being physically the same place, it makes sense when cataloging works about this place to put them under one heading. Someone looking for books about the history of the city would presumably want to see all historical works regardless of whether they concentrate on the period when it belonged to Germany or Poland.


But if we were just trying to identify the person--to answer the question, "Which Gerhard Rose are we looking at?"--we would want to choose the form that is most likely to be associated with the name in reference works, etc. It strikes me as more likely than not that a reference work (or a source of information, if for example the birthplace of the author was listed on a title page) would use the form of the name as it was when the person was born.


As in, " Gerhard August Heinrich Rose (November 30, 1896 in Danzig – January 13, 1992 ... was born in Danzig (then part of Germany, now Gdańsk Poland)" (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Rose).



Benjamin Abrahamse

Cataloging Coordinator

Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement

MIT Libraries



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Charles Croissant
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 3:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Use of terms in 370 which have SUBJECT USAGE: This heading is not valid for use as a subject. Works about this place are entered under ...


The entities recorded in the 370 are place names, and Danzig (Germany) is a valid name heading, as shown by the presence of a record for it in the NAF. "Danzig" was certainly the name by which this place was known in 1896 when Gerhard Rose was born, so it seems appropriate from that angle as well to use "Danzig (Germany) $2 naf".

Charles Croissant
Senior Catalog Librarian
Pius XII Memorial Library
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108


On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM, Bushman, Barbara (NIH/NLM) [E] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We are upgrading the record for Rose, Gerhard, ‡d 1896-1992 (LCCN no2002101636) to RDA.  We want to include a 370 for his place of birth which was Danzig (Germany).  The record for Danzig (Germany) has a 667 which states SUBJECT USAGE: This heading is not valid for use as a subject. Works about this place are entered under Gdaněsk (Poland).  What do we use in the 370, Danzig (Germany) or Gdansk (Poland)?  Is place of birth treated like a subject?






Barbara Bushman
Assistant Head

Cataloging and Metadata Management Section
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Building 38, Room 1N13
Bethesda, MD 20894
301-402-1211 (fax)
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