My question is: given that MARC field 375 supports date ranges ($s start period, $t end period) why do we need to record "transgender" (as a noun or an adjective) at all? If we record the dates an individual identified themselves as one gender, and the dates they identified themselves differently, why is that not perfectly sufficient?
(Though quite honestly I'm not sure why we feel the need to record any gender information to begin with.)
Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement
Chris Bourg, the new director of the MIT libraries spoke at the annual Boston Library Consortium meeting about “de-centering” the white, male bias in library collections. Having access to gender and race information in authority records could be useful if one is trying to locate works by under-represented populations.
University of New Hampshire Library
18 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
While several have expressed that recording gender in an authority record may not be a good idea, we also need to be aware that there are researchers who are very interested in knowing the gender of the creator of works. In the past few years I have been cataloging hundreds of scores, donated by a faculty member who specifically collected these works because they were composed by female songwriters.
In our bibliographic records, there is no good way to identify creators by gender. I have been diligently adding the 675 field to authority records to enable this kind of searching in the anticipated linked data library world. I utilize several reference works in this endeavor that are specifically concerned with women composers, songwriters, and musicians.
Perhaps the desires of these researchers might be something to keep in mind.
University of California, Davis
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