I think this is a very good question. Can’t say if I an easy answer, myself. Maybe someone from LC, or someone on PCC with direct experience with a similar situation, could respond?
Stephen T. Early
Center for Research Libraries
6050 S. Kenwood
Chicago, IL 60637
CRL website: www.crl.edu
I just encountered a situation relevant to this recent discussion. I needed to use n 79049133 $z no 2007056630 “United States.$bCongress.$bHouse.$bCommittee on Education and Labor,” which is a record tagged as needing review and updating to be RDA compliant. A review of the 670 notes shows that there were three iterations of this committee, (1867-1885), (1947-1995), and (2007-2011). Between 1885 and 1947, the original committee was divided into two committees that were then reunited. Since 1995, there have been frequent changes of name back and forth. Handling the first succession of names is rather straightforward, but the post 1995 history draws in at least two other names, one of which was used in two separate time spans. Even that is manageable when compared to the fact that there are about 90 subdivisions for these committees, and it would seem necessary to examine each one and reassign it to one or more of the iterations of the parent committee in order to make everything RDA compliant across the board.
The plain fact is, that with only about two dozen titles for this chain of committees, and none for any of the subdivisions, I cannot in good faith use institution staff time to untangle this jumble. Indeed, even where we have complete data and representatives of nearly every member of a complex family tree, the amount of time needed to create full RDA authority records for each entity, much less EAC archival ones, seems excessive and justified only in special cases that are institution-specific. Also, since I imagine that publications of this set of committees and subcommittees are widely held, I would also imagine that the amount of BFM would be considerable.
My question is, what is to be done in cases like this? Who bears or shares the expense, and is the result worth the effort? Were complexities of this sort envisioned when the rules were drawn, or are they just coming to light? Are records like this to remain in a non-RDA limbo state because no one has time to upgrade them?
Christopher T. Baer
Manuscripts & Archives
Hagley Museum and Library
Related to question 3, my OCLC colleagues and I are very much in favor of the “create two new records and delete the existing record” technique. We’d also suggest that the LCCN of the deleted record be contained in the 010 $z of the two new records. That has worked very successfully for our updating software in the processing of undifferentiated name record that are being broken apart.
Glenn E. Patton
Director, WorldCat Quality Management
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin OH 43017-3395
Phone: +1.800.848.5878, ext. 6371 or +1.614.764.6371
We have identified a number of cases in which an existing authority record for a Congressional committee needs to be split into two records. These represent situations where the committee used one name (let’s call it Name A) for a period of time, then changed to a different name (Name B), then reverted back to the previously held name (Name A). Under AACR2, we were expected to follow LCRI 26.3B-C and use Name A to represent both the earlier and later instances of the name. Under RDA PCC policy, the two bodies need to be differentiated. Here is an example:
Existing record (n 79043116):
110 United States. $b Congress. $b Senate. $b Committee on Public Lands
According to our reference source, this name was used from Dec. 10, 1816-Apr. 18, 1821, and then again from Jan. 2, 1947-Jan. 2, 1948. So, in the RDA environment, we would need two access points:
110 United States. $b Congress. $b Senate. $b Committee on Public Lands (1816-1821)
110 United States. $b Congress. $b Senate. $b Committee on Public Lands (1947-1948)
We have done some research to identify which Congressional committees are affected. Using reference sources, we have also come up with the chronological qualifiers that could be used to differentiate the bodies. According to LC PCC Policy Statement for 126.96.36.199, a qualifier would get added to each of the names. The changes would carry down to the names of any subcommittees established under these committees as well.
However, before we start making changes to authority records and embarking on what will be a huge in-house maintenance project for us (and presumably for many other libraries and OCLC as well), we’d like to get feedback on a few questions:
Should the date qualifier be the date range? RDA 188.8.131.52 simply says “Add a date or dates associated with the body …” We prefer to use a date range but have come across examples in existing authority records where only one of the two
access points has been qualified and only the beginning of the date range has been used to differentiate, e.g.:
110 1# United States. $b Congress. $b House. $b Committee on Science and Technology
110 1# United States. $b Congress. $b House. $b Committee on Science and Technology (2007)
2) There isn’t any movement afoot to introduce an LC-PCC PS to revert back to the old LCRI practice, is there? It seems doubtful, but we don’t want to go to the trouble of making these changes only have to undo them down the road.
3) If an existing authority record needs to be split into two, rather than updating the existing record and creating one additional record, wouldn’t it be better to create two new records, then have the existing record deleted? That way incorrect heading flips could be avoided. The situation seems very similar to subject heading splits.
4) Anything else we should be sure to do (or not do)?
Head of Technical Services
U.S. Senate Library
SR-B15 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-7112