I don't know of a rule, but I have a vague memory of seeing this situation discussed pre-RDA.  If you didn't know the person's real name, you would have to treat it as an anonymous work, but of course transcribe the statement of responsibility as it appears.  Especially in a card catalog there was a problem of where would you file such a heading if you tried to create one.

The problem with creating an access point consisting of asterisks is: would anybody consider that a name that could be looked up? If so, would they remember how many asterisks?  (Most people don't do browse searches.)  Would they know if it was asterisks or some other similar characters?  How would the system treat such characters?  Treat them as something to ignore?

As a possible justification for entering under the person's real name, see RDA (2nd paragraph).

John Hostage
Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger //
Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services //
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Cambridge, MA 02138
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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cronquist, Michelle J
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014 12:50
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Name authority question

A colleague has asked me for help with a tricky name authority question, and I have to admit that I'm stumped.  The author's name appears on the title page as M. ***.  I couldn't find anything in RDA about names that consist of characters rather than letters.  (The closest I can find is  J*** W********* under, with the instruction to record it as J. W., but there's nothing about what to do when the asterisks are on their own, not following a letter.)  When I try searching on *** in the OCLC authority file, it drops me in the middle of the Arabic names, so I don't know if there are any names in the authority file that actually have asterisks as the entry element.  A search under "M." turns up some examples where M. ***, or just M. (leaving out the asterisks that appear on the source), has been entered as a 400 (e.g., no 91025566, n  86858458), but none where it's in a 100.

Is there a rule somewhere that I'm not seeing that explains what to do with a name like this?  Is there any way to include a 400 for ***, $c M., and how does this get filed in the authority file?

All of the examples that I find in the authority file under M. are established under the person's real name, found in references sources, even if M. *** is the usage found on the title page.  Is this correct, and why?  My colleague did find this author's real name in some reference sources, but I'm not sure what rule people are following that says to use the real name rather than the form on the title page.

Thanks for any help you can give me!


Michelle Cronquist
North Caroliniana Cataloger
Special Collections Technical Services
CB#3926, Wilson Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

919-962-3594 (fax)