Getting back to the topic of gender, I notice that Miss Piggy's NAR has 375 female, and Kermit's has 375 male.

The RDA glossary has these definitions:

Female: The gender designation for woman or girl
Male: The gender designation for man or boy
Not known (Gender): The gender designation when specific gender is unknown

These definitions also to restrict the gender terms in RDA to human entities, not to animals, spirits, deities, puppets, robots which may have a biological or ascribed gender. This is separate from the question of whether the entity is real or fictitious; Brown, Sneaky Pie, 1982-, apparently a real (and quite old) cat, also has 375 female. 

Should the glossary be changed? Or should gender not be recorded for non-human entities?


On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 7:15 PM, Adam L. Schiff <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
And yet, when you search Wikipedia for Bruce Jenner's entry, what comes up is an entry with Caitlyn Jenner at the head of the article.  So even that popularly source resource recognizes a single identity now known as Caitlyn Jenner.  Bruce Jenner redirects to Caitlyn Jenner - that is, Bruce Jenner is a variant form or see reference to Caitlyn Jenner.

Adam Schiff

On Thu, 4 Jun 2015, Chris Baer wrote:

Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 15:58:49 -0400
From: Chris Baer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

I think it is interesting that this discussion quickly moved into the realm of fiction and show-biz fluff, like Bob Hoskins’ car going through the tunnel into Toon Town.

What I was asking was a practical question connected to the phenomenon of documentation, not authorship or stage personas.

The situation is: a person with a collection of press photos, perhaps the photo morgue of a defunct newspaper; an archivist working for a television station or network who has footage of Jenner ca. 1976 AND 2015; a person who has a Wheaties box in a collection of packaging, or advertising artwork for said box.  With what name should these objects be tagged?  In the middle situation, it would be necessary at times to pick out either Jenner I or Jenner II, but not the other, on short notice.  To call both Caitlyn seems to me absurd.  Jenner’s state of mind at the time is a non-issue.  It takes us through that tunnel into the realms of subjectivity and metaphysics.  There is ample evidence in the materials at hand that he presented himself as Bruce, took the acknowledgement of others as such, and signed papers as such.  That he underwent changes of whatever sort, culminating in a full transition, does not erase the past, even if subjectively he might want to rewrite it.

That is why I put “bibliographic identity” in ironic quotes.  This kind of description has nothing to do with “biblio-anything.”   It is a matter of accurately describing what is in front of you so that people coming after will have a good idea of what it is, why it was made, and all those other basic reportorial questions.  Lumping Jenner personas together kind of makes sense when it is two or three things on a bookshelf, but not with things like these that are more likely arranged by provenance and not artificially collected together.

The thing that makes this situation interesting is that Jenner I & II are radically different, physically, occupation, sphere of activity, etc.  This is surely more profound than a transvestite putting on temporary things like clothing or wigs, or an actor getting into costume for a role.  Divine out of costume and makeup was no longer recognizably Divine unless he spoke and told you so.  Interestingly, I could not find him under either name on the Social Security Death Index, but I would bet that his autopsy and death certificate read Harris Glenn Milstead.

I suspect that the operative phrase is “we as librarians …”  Most likely the person dealing with a TV station’s photo archive is not librarian, nor is the collector of advertising ephemera or autographs, nor the fans, who as I seem to recollect from the “Village Voice” long ago, were in a rush to buy Divine’s personal effects at auction.

As I have pointed out before, the problems with library systems like NACO are, first, its acute biblio-centrism, its old basic mission to collate books into as few pigeon holes as possible for efficient retrieval, and second, what might be called, parodying the Maxians, its commodity fetishism.  That is, what counts is if a being has been commodified either by itself or others so that it constitutes a “commodity-persona” (a possible alternate for “bibliographic identity”) or known quantity or marquee name, and then is attached in some way to a work that itself is a commodity and propagated as such, purchases and stuck on shelves or drives or whatever.  So Barry Humphries and Dame Edna are for library purposes distinct commodities, but only if “they” write under both names, whereas from an archival/administrative perspective, there is only Barry Humphries, and Dame Edna is just him in a intentionally misleading wrapper.  Dame Edna does not have a passport or hea!
lth insurance.

Allowing that this situation would not have been possible without modern medical techniques, Jenner I & II are definitely radically different commodities in every sense of the word if any pair are, and in a way that Milstead/Divine and others were not, and they are significantly different as beings, bibliographic identities or not, in the same way.

Assuming that the Jenner story is common knowledge and that the patron can figure it out is exactly what I meant by “presentism.”  That is true for people devoted to “Inside Edition” and its ilk now, but in the future, Jenner will probably recede like Jim Thorpe, Buster Crabbe, Don Schollander and other Olympic champions of the past, known only to specialists.  Of course, by then no one may care and the works will all have been destroyed.

But in the meantime, how does the person describe that Wheaties box art?

The question is important both because of the wide range of non-bibliographic works like the hypothetical Jenner images being subject to web-based description, and because of the proliferation of web-based self-publication, self-commodification, and the opportunities for anyone to be one or more celebrities outside the limits of their own heads.

Chris Baer
Hagley Museum and Library

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wilson, Pete
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2015 8:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

If Bruce Jenner had been a drag queen who used a Caitlyn persona for performances, maybe that would have been a second identity, “bibliographic” or otherwise.  That is not the case.

Even then, though, I notice that RuPaul has only one NACO authority record, as do Barry Humphries, who “is” Dame Edna, and Divine, born Glenn Milstead.

I think Ted cites correctly.  I think a better argument for dual identities could be made for drag performers than for Jenner.  How is Dame Edna any less separate a persona than Mark Twain was from Samuel Clemens?  What Jenner has done, however, could not be described as maintaining two separate identities.

Pete Wilson
Vanderbilt University

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ted P Gemberling
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2015 6:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

Pete and Chris: does say: “If an individual *has* more than one identity, choose the name associated with each identity as the preferred name for that identity.” I highlighted the word *has* because that distinguishes this section from the previous one, which is about an individual who changes his name. says if an individual changes his name, use the latest name as the established form. Jenner seems to fall under He would be considered for more than one identity if he published things under both names concurrently. The present tense of *has* seems to be important to

Now of course it’s true that changing your gender is a lot bigger deal than changing your name. But I doubt that we as librarians can take account of that distinction.

Ted Gemberling

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wilson, Pete
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2015 4:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question


Well, you can propose a new way of looking at this, but there have been many cases of sex changes already and many examples of name authority records for the people involved.  So far, we are treating both the before person and the after person as the same person, which seems appropriate to me.

It is already established that a (significant) change of name means a new authority for a corporate body, but not usually for a person.  Names vary all the time.  Rosanne has been credited as Rosanne Arnold here and Rosanne Barr there.  We trace her as just “Rosanne, 1952- “ anyway.  Farrah Fawcett has frequently been credited or referred to as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, but we don’t call that a separate identity.  Why is this a special case?   Jenner would argue that she is the same person she always was.  If a special approach is not needed in principle for this case, is it needed just to avoid mass confusion?  I seriously doubt it.  The general public knows Jenner and her story and can work it out.  In the case of a less-known person for whom there might be more confusion, we wouldn’t even be talking about this—and that kind of confusion occurs in regard to lesser-known people for all sorts of reasons.

Pete Wilson
Vanderbilt University

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Baer
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2015 4:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

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 filin!
g 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.

Chris Baer
Hagley Museum and Library

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wilson, Pete
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 5:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

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.

Pete Wilson
Vanderbilt University

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ted P Gemberling
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 4:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

I just wonder: does that constitute a different bibliographic identity? Should there be a 500 for Bruce Jenner?
Ted Gemberling
UAB Lister Hill Library

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Elizabeth Simpson
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 4:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Subject: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question

Hi everybody,
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
377  eng
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
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
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))

Laura Simpson
Assistant Librarian/Cataloger
Mervyn H. Sterne Library
Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> / 205-934-3512

Adam L. Schiff
Principal Cataloger
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 543-8409
(206) 685-8782 fax
[log in to unmask]

Matthew C. Haugen
Rare Book Cataloger
102 Butler Library
Columbia University Libraries
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Phone: 212-851-2451