Not so fast. What is a “bibliographic identity” anyway? Surely nothing that any other discipline would recognize, or the IRS, or the DMV or any agency of the state. This seems to me to be another example of catalogers thinking that their resources are somehow more “real” than the things represented in them.
There is in fact a biological entity that was born a man and transitioned to a woman. This is quite different than simply choosing to write different variants of one’s name, using initials, adopting a gang nickname or criminal alias, etc. Such a change of identity must in fact be recognized by the state through the issuing of new papers, etc. This is quite different from someone appearing in certain situations under a stage name or writing under one or more pseudonyms. It is in fact a true case of earlier/later names and receives official sanction as such.
There are also practical considerations, especially as regards to original documentation. Given her age, what are we going to see from Caitlyn after the media frenzy dies down? A tell-all memoir? Case studies by social scientists and advocates? Compare that with all the extant photographic and video footage of Bruce, not to mention Wheaties ads, a terrible movie, and who knows what else. Are these all to be identified now as Caitlyn? Really?! Are the official Olympic and other registries of athletic records to be revised as in Stalin’s Russia? The fact is that, unlike some of the other gender reassignment cases, the achievements as Bruce and those as Caitlyn will be very different, if only because of age. Whatever one’s views of the politics of the matter, this is a significant enough change to count as a before-and-after, which is how the law would recognize it. The same would be true of any other change of name that receives legal sanction through the filing of official papers for whatever reason, whether of a person, ship, building, kept animal, or whatever.
As a historian, I find this sort of flattening of historical complexity disturbing, when it leads to the creation of false or anachronistic labels.
Hagley Museum and Library
No. The same “bibliographic identity” used to be called Bruce and is now called Caitlyn. See Wendy Carlos, Deirdre N. McCloskey and Jan Morris (1926-) for other examples.
I just wonder: does that constitute a different bibliographic identity? Should there be a 500 for Bruce Jenner?
UAB Lister Hill Library
Hope you’re having a good day. I was just wondering about how people feel about the 375 in this record. That’s the first time I’ve actually someone explicitly identified as transgender in a 375, but I can’t help wondering whether they would want to be labeled as such. I am just curious and wanted to be respectful to anyone whose NAR I am working with in the future.
010 n 79022162
040 DLC ǂb eng ǂe rda ǂc DLC ǂd WaU
046 ǂf 19491028
1001 Jenner, Caitlyn, ǂd 1949-
370 Mount Kisco (N.Y.) ǂc United States ǂe Malibu (Calif.) ǂ2 naf
372 Decathlon ǂa Acting ǂ2 lcsh
373 Olympic Games (20th : 1972 : Munich, Germany) ǂa Olympic Games (21st : 1976 : Montréal, Québec) ǂ2 naf
374 Decathletes ǂa Olympic athletes ǂa Actors ǂa Television personalities ǂ2 lcsh
375 transgender woman
375 female ǂs 2015
375 male ǂs 1949 ǂt 2015
378 ǂq William Bruce
4001 Jenner, Bruce, ǂd 1949- ǂw nne
4001 Jenner, William Bruce, ǂd 1949-
670 His Decathlon challenge, c1977.
670 Wikipedia, February 8, 2015 ǂb (Bruce Jenner; William Bruce Jenner (born October 28, 1949) is a former U.S. track and field athlete and current television personality. He won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal; born Mt. Kisco, New York; residence: Malibu, California; tenth place at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany; following Jenner's Olympic victory, his professional career led to new success in television. By 1981, he had starred in several made-for-TV movies and was Erik Estrada's replacement briefly on the top-rated TV series CHiPs; nominated for the 1980 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in Can't Stop the Music. That was the end of his theatrical movie career until he appeared in 2011's Jack and Jill in a scene with Al Pacino as an actor in a play)
670 Bruce Jenner comes out as transgender woman, via NBC News website, April 24, 2015 ǂb (Former Olympic champion and reality television star Bruce Jenner broke the silence on transitioning to a woman Friday [April 24, 2015], telling ABC's Diane Sawyer, "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman") ǂu http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/bruce-jenner-comes-out-transgender-woman-n348181
670 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, debuts on the cover of Vanity Fair, via CBC News website, posted Jun 01, 2015, viewed June 2, 2015 ǂb (Caitlyn Jenner; transgender Olympic gold medallist and reality star makes public debut as a woman; the iconic U.S. Olympian and parent in the extended Kardashian family formerly known as Bruce Jenner debuted as a woman Monday [June 1, 2015] on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine) ǂu http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/caitlyn-jenner-formerly-bruce-jenner-debuts-on-the-cover-of-vanity-fair-1.3095470
670 Wikipedia, June 2, 2015 ǂb (Caitlyn Jenner (born October 28, 1949), formerly known as Bruce Jenner; American former track and field athlete and current television personality; born William Bruce Jenner, Mount Kisco, New York; residence: Malibu, California; other names: Bruce Jenner (1949-2015))
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Mervyn H. Sterne Library
Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
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